J.R. Simplot: From Dropout to Billionaire
J.R. Simplot, born in Dubuque, Iowa in 1909, was a potato farmer and billionaire with a net worth of $3.7 billion. He founded the J.R. Simplot Company, which focused on potato production and developed the first frozen French fry. Despite growing up in a log cabin and dropping out of school at 14 with only $80 in his pocket, Simplot turned his small company into the largest potato dehydrating plant in the world.
During World War II, Simplot supplied American soldiers with dehydrated vegetables and later became McDonald’s key supplier of French fries, contributing to the rise of their empire. He expanded his business by including cattle farming, fertilizer, oil, cattle feed, seed and ski resorts to the potato farming. At the time of his death at 99, he was named the oldest billionaire in the United States, leaving behind an exceptional life story that undeniably proves the existence of the American Dream.