SANTA ANA, Calif. (MCT) Carl Karcher, the Ohio farm boy with an eighth-grade education who turned his $326 investment in a hot dog stand into a multimillion-dollar fast-food empire, died Friday afternoon. He was 90.
Karcher, who suffered from both the aftereffects of a stroke and Parkinson's disease, developed pneumonia New Year's Day and was admitted to St. Jude's Medical Center, where he slowly declined.
CKE Restaurants Inc., the company Karcher founded, now operates 3,052 restaurants in 42 states and 13 countries. Of those, 1,121 are Carl's Jr. restaurants, a self-named brand initially conceived as a humble hot dog stand in Los Angeles more than 65 years ago.