Donald J. Tyson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Donald Tyson)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Donald J. Tyson
Born (1930-04-23)April 23, 1930
Olathe, Kansas
Died January 6, 2011(2011-01-06) (aged 80)
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Cause of death Cancer
Occupation President and CEO of Tyson Foods
Children John H. Tyson
Parent(s) John W. Tyson

Donald John "Don" Tyson (April 21, 1930 – January 6, 2011)[1] was an American businessman who was the President and CEO of Tyson Foods during its rise to the top of the food business.

Early life[edit]

Don Tyson was born in Olathe, Kansas. He attended the public schools in Springdale, Arkansas, and completed his education at Kemper Military School in Boonville, Missouri, and at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas, which he left before earning his degree.[1]

In 1944, at age 14, Tyson was first introduced into the poultry industry as a chicken catcher and truck driver at Tyson’s Feed and Hatchery, the family's poultry feed and live production business started by his father, John W. Tyson. In 1952, Don Tyson left the University of Arkansas to join his father in expanding the business. The company opened its first poultry processing plant in 1958 on Randall Road in Springdale, with Don Tyson serving as the first plant manager.[2]

President and CEO[edit]

Tyson was named president of Tyson’s Foods, Inc. in 1966. He served as the company's CEO and chairman from 1967 to 1991, as its chairman from 1991 to 1995, and as its senior chairman from 1995 until his retirement in 2001. During his tenure, the company's revenue increased from $51 million to more than $10 billion, and Tyson Foods grew to become one of the largest manufacturing companies in the world. According to associates, Mr. Tyson enjoyed his job; one of his favorite parts of it was going to the slaughterhouses.[citation needed] In his retirement, Mr. Tyson continued to serve as a consultant to the company and as a member of its board of directors.[3] His son, John H. Tyson was the CEO of Tyson Foods from 1999-2006 and is currently chairman.


According to Forbes magazine, Tyson was one of the world's 1,000 richest people with a net worth over a billion dollars in March 2007.[4]

An avid fisherman, Tyson served on the Boards of Directors of the Billfish Foundation and the International Game Fish Association.[citation needed]


Tyson died on January 6, 2011 from cancer. He was 80 years old.[5]


  1. ^ a b McFadden, Robert D. (January 6, 2011). "Donald J. Tyson, Food Tycoon, Is Dead at 80". The New York Times. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2005-10-27. Retrieved 2006-11-19.
  3. ^ About Tyson - History - 1950s Archived November 11, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "The World's Billionaires: #891 Donald Tyson". Forbes. 8 March 2007.
  5. ^ Lesnick, Gavin (6 January 2011). "Donald J. Tyson dies after battle with cancer". Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette.