Former Krispy Kreme vice president who helped build the doughnut giant dies at 95

Associated Press

William Lewis Rudolph, a former Krispy Kreme vice president who helped to build the company, has died.

Rudolph's brother, Vernon Rudolph, opened the first Krispy Kreme in North Carolina in the 1930s. The Tennessean reports (http://tnne.ws/1Bp5rcJ) the successful business expanded, and the Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corp. was incorporated in 1947. Vernon Rudolph served as president and chairman of the board while William Lewis Rudolph was vice president.

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In the late 1950s, Rudolph returned to Nashville from Winston-Salem to buy two Krispy Kreme shops. He opened two more in the 1960s.

In 1976, Krispy Kreme merged with Beatrice Foods Company. When sales slumped, franchisees, including Rudolph, rallied around a buyout. He retired from the doughnut business in 1985.

Harpeth Hills funeral home in Nashville said Rudolph died Sunday at age 95.