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J. R. “Jack” Simplot

Businessman. Born John Richard Simplot, at his death he was the oldest billionaire on the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans, with a fortune of over $3 billion. At age 14 he quit school and left home, working on a farm while looking for opportunities to make money, and eventually using the profit from several small ventures to found the J.R. Simplot Company. By World War II, Simplot was the nation’s largest shipper of fresh potatoes and a major supplier of dried vegetables to the military. After making a deal to supply McDonald’s, the Simplot Company became the fast food chain’s primary provider of french fries and hash browns. Constantly searching for opportunities to diversify, Simplot expanded his holdings to include fertilizer production, oil, animal feed and seed, beef cattle, and ski resorts. In the early 1980s he provided startup capital for Micron Technology, one of the largest makers of the Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) computer chips that are integral components of digital devices. ¬†The Simplot Company has expanded internationally, including purchase of Australia’s largest food processing company. ¬†It is one of the world’s largest frozen-potato processors, distributing more than 3 billion pounds of french fries and other potato products worldwide each year. ¬†J.R. Simplot was active in Idaho politics as a supporter of Republican candidates. ¬†Idaho Governor Butch Otter was his former son-in-law. ¬†(bio by: Bill McKern) ¬†Family links: ¬†Parents: ¬†Charles Richard Simplot (1883 – 1974) ¬†Dorothy Ann Haxby Simplot (1883 – 1945) ¬†Children: ¬†Richard Rosevear Simplot (1934 – 1993)* ¬†Siblings: ¬†Margarete Clayville (1906 – 1998)* ¬†Myrtle Marie Simplot Hutchison (1907 – 1999)* ¬†J. R. Simplot (1909 – 2008) ¬†Robert L. Simplot (1914 – 1986)* ¬†Dorothy Anna Simplot Kunz (1918 – 1987)* ¬†Ethel Lorraine Simplot (1919 – 1931)* *Calculated relationship


  • January, 04, 1909
  • USA


  • May, 05, 2008
  • USA


  • Morris Hill Cemetery
  • Idaho
  • USA

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