Former head of Nathan’s Famous hot dogs dies

Posted May 15, 2011, at 7:42 p.m.

MIAMI — The man who helped turn his father’s Coney Island, N.Y, hot dog stand into a nationally recognized chain has died in Florida.

Murray Handwerker, the former head of Nathan’s Famous hot dogs, was 89 years old. Murray’s son, Bill Handwerker, said his dad died May 14 at his home in Palm Beach Gardens.

Murray Handwerker was just a child when his father, Nathan, opened his frankfurter business.

He went on to work in all aspects of the business and eventually led its transformation into a hot dog powerhouse, opening new locations, offering franchises, putting products in supermarkets and leading the company to go public.

He sold the business in 1987, but his son said he enjoyed hot dogs to the very end of his life.

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