Al Copeland passed away last Sunday

Discussion in 'Louisiana' started by Wade, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. Wade

    Wade Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Mar 31, 2006
    East Central, FL
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    Wade O.
    A Gulf Coast Icon indeed. I remember his visits to Destin, Fl and his entourage of fast boats (sweet!), motorcycles and etc. Although not a fan of fast food restaurants I love Popeye’s. I hope his company can continue without him.

    March 25, 2008 · Al Copeland, the founder of Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits, has died. He was 64 years old. In his native New Orleans, he was known as much for his flamboyant lifestyle as for his chain's spicy chicken.

    At the age of 18, Copeland sold his car to fund his first restaurant: a doughnut shop. When a successful Kentucky Fried Chicken moved into his neighborhood, Copeland started tinkering with recipes and opened a restaurant of his own. But it struggled: The chicken was too bland. So, he returned to his Louisiana roots and made it spicy.

    Under Copeland's leadership, Popeyes opened more than 700 restaurants worldwide. At a Popeyes in New Orleans, restaurant manager Herschel Epps says Copeland was true to his roots.

    "The same way that he was today, he was yesterday. He was always consistent, a caring person, and his loss will be felt heavy around here because he was a great guy."

    In 1989, Popeyes acquired rival Church's Chicken, which later forced Copeland's company into bankruptcy. Through good times and bad, Copeland led an extravagant lifestyle: sports cars, speed boats — and garish Christmas light displays at his suburban New Orleans home that were so popular that authorities had to direct traffic and neighbors filed lawsuits. There were lavish weddings and bitter divorces that were the talk of the town.

    Copeland died in Germany, where he was getting treatment for a rare form of salivary gland cancer.
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  3. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    Dec 6, 2002
    Houston, Texas
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    RIP.....despite what you could say of his business, he was a fixture on the offshore racing scene for many, many years.

    IIRC at one point his financial worth/obligations made him give up actually driving the Popeye's boats (at one time there were Popeye's boats in more than one class) and watch the races from a yacht in the viewing area........

    Sad to hear..........
  4. Craigy

    Craigy Formula 3

    Mar 19, 2006
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  5. tritone

    tritone F1 Veteran
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    Dec 8, 2003
    On the Rock
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    +1 Tex.
    That 50' yellow 4000HP "Popeyes" was a kick to watch bouncing and flying.........Al said he was "mostly scared sh*tless the whole time!"
    RIP big Al.

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