Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

March 22, 2004

Harrison McCain, 76, a Canadian billionaire whose family-owned business began in a cow pasture in New Brunswick and grew into one of the world's largest producers of frozen french fries, died Thursday at a Boston hospital after a long illness.

Mr. McCain, a straight-talking son of a seed potato exporter, applied his prodigious ability as a salesman to an idea for a product that would become a global commodity and a calling card of American culture: the frozen french fry.

In 1957, together with his three brothers, Wallace, Robert and Andrew, he opened a french-fry processing plant in his hometown, Florenceville, a hamlet of fewer than 1,000 people in western New Brunswick, less than 10 miles from the U.S. border.

The company, which still has its headquarters there, had annual sales of $6.4 billion last year. The company employs about 18,000 people.

Brian Maxwell, 51, founder of the multimillion-dollar PowerBar empire and a former world-class marathon runner, died of a heart attack Friday after collapsing at a post office in San Anselmo, Calif.

Mr. Maxwell and his wife, Jennifer, a nutritionist, co-founded the popular energy bar company in 1986 and began selling PowerBars out of their kitchen. Over the next decade, the Berkeley, Calif.-based firm grew to $150 million in sales and 300 employees.

In March 2000, the couple sold the company to Nestle SA for a reported $375 million.

He was born in London and grew up in Toronto.

He represented Canada in many international competitions as a long-distance runner. He was part of the 1980 Olympic team that boycotted the games in Moscow.

He came up with the idea of an energy bar after he had to drop out of a 26.2-mile marathon race at the 21-mile mark M-y about the point where experts say the body ceases burning carbohydrates and begins burning muscle tissue.

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