Mob-Linked Bird Baron Knocks Up Chickens South of the Border


Frank Perdue, the pope of poultry, has died. Some will remember him for his folksy commercials and avian face; others for his dealings with mobster Paul Castellano, who helped distribute the company's product in New York but said no when Perdue asked him to suppress a union drive down south. I will remember him for the chicken, which isn't all that good, and for this story, which may or may not be true:

Chicken-man Frank Perdue's slogan, "It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken," got terribly mangled in another Spanish translation. A photo of Perdue with one of his birds appeared on billboards all over Mexico with a caption that explained "It takes a hard man to make a chicken aroused." Elsewhere, the slogan was translated into, "It takes a virile man to make a chicken pregnant."

Rest in peace, Frank. Seventy-two laying hens await you.