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Pennsylvania Potato Chip Icon Jim Herr Dead At 87

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(Jim Herr with some of his company's products.  Graphic by Ed Fischer)

(Jim Herr with some of his company’s products. Graphic by Ed Fischer)

By Paul Kurtz and Tim Jimenez

NOTTINGHAM, Pa. (CBS) – The founder of Herr Foods has died.

Jim Herr, founder of Herr’s Foods based out of Nottingham, Chester County, has died at the age of 87.

Spokeswoman Jennifer Arrigo has been with the company for 28 years.

“I think anybody that you would talk to about Mr. Herr would tell you that he was great to the community, great to his employees. Anyone who ever worked with him was his friend.”

In 1946, then 21-year-old James S. Herr bought a small potato chip company in Lancaster in 1946 for a total of $1,750. Now sales are in the tens of millions, they have more than 1,000 employees and they sell more than potato chips.

“Through the 70s and 80s the company really started to take off. More recently over the last 10 years, we started to sell in national accounts too.”

But, Arrigo says growth never took away from the family atmosphere Jim Herr instilled.

“Second generation and, of course, the third generation. And his family will take on where he has left off.”

Herr is survived by his wife of 65 years, five chldren, 20 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

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