Industry Mourns Loss of Rudolph Foods Founder

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Industry Mourns Loss of Rudolph Foods Founder


LIMA, Ohio -- The snack food industry is mourning the loss of John Rudolph, the founder of Rudolph Foods Corp., who died yesterday. He was 88.

Rudolph was a successful entrepreneur, community leader and a family man who started Rudolph Foods in 1955, taking the company from a pork rinds maker to a global snack company.

Known for his "can do" attitude, Rudolph never retired and stayed involved in the business, even going to the office within the last few weeks of his life, according to his obituary.

Rudolph's experience in the food industry included a variety of leadership roles within the Snack Food Association, the Food Industries Center at The Ohio State University, and the Young Presidents Organization.

Rudolph was born in Toledo, Ohio, and served in the U.S. Army as a Tech Sergeant in Germany during World War II. He went on to earn a bachelor of arts in business management at Bowling Green University before settling in Lima, Ohio.

Rudolph served in a number of local organizations and in many roles, including chairman of a United Way campaign, and helped to organize several significant community projects to help improve the town of Lima.

Rudolph is survived by his wife Mary, four children and eight grandchildren.

Rudolph Foods Corp. has seven facilities in the United States and three international ventures. With more than 400 employees, the company entered into new areas of the snack food industry while maintaining its presence as a national producer of pork rinds and cracklin snacks.

The company's brands include Rudolph's, Gaslamp Popcorn, Grandpa John's, Lee’s, Pepe’s El Original, Rudy's Southern Recipe, Smithfield Farms and White Feather.