September 20, 2002

Dunkin’ Donuts Founder Dies

Greater Boston

On this day in 2002, Dorchester native William Rosenberg, who made a morning stop for coffee and donuts a national habit, died at the age of 86. In a classic rags-to-riches story, the Dunkin' Donuts founder was a poor boy with only an eighth-grade education. In 1950 he opened his first shop in Quincy. It sold excellent coffee and donuts and was an immediate success. In 1955 he began licensing franchisees to use the Dunkin' Donuts name and sell his products. He realized that in an increasingly mobile age people would welcome a familiar and trusted name. And they did. Dunkin' Donuts, based in Canton, Massachusetts, is now the world's largest coffee and baked goods chain, serving more than 2,700,000 customers every day.

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