R. Reese Fuller

Popeyes' Al Copeland dies at 64

by R. Reese Fuller

The chicken man has left the building. According to The Times-Picayune, Al Copeland died yesterday in Munich, Germany. The controversial entrepreneur and founder of Popeyes Fried Chicken had traveled to Germany in hopes of treating a rare form of cancer he was diagnosed with in November.

In a Christmas Eve article about Copeland's annual Christmas lights display at his home - which his neighbors sued him over - The Times-Pic wrote:

Copeland has lived large over the years, building a chain of fried-chicken restaurants that made him millions of dollars and spending much of it on eye-popping buildings, clothes, powerboats, motorcycles, trucks and wives. The gaudy display of nouveau riches repelled the cultural snobs even as it captivated the working stiffs.

Behind the scenes, Copeland has been a shrewd and calculating businessman who knows what he wants and always seems brassy enough to go for it, often succeeding while sometimes falling short.

Copeland was 64 years old. Read this account from the Associated Press.