Location of death: New York City
Cause of death: unspecified
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Pickle baron
Joseph Vlasic started driving a milk-truck for his father's creamery in his teens, and took over the business as a young man. When sales faltered in 1937 he started delivering pickles as well, which became popular among his Polish-American customers in Detroit. Even the labels on the jars were printed in Polish, at first. The new product soon became so popular that Vlasic began expanding his pickle distribution, developed a new method of preserving pickles in glass jars instead of giant vats, and eventually left the dairy business entirely. The pickler was incorporated as Vlasic Foods in 1959, and Vlasic himself retired in 1963, passing the firm's leadership to his son. Vlasic Foods was sold to Campbell in 1978, and is now owned by Pinnacle Foods. Various sources claim with pride that Vlasic's heredity was Croatian, Serbian, or Yugoslavian, but the Vlasic company's website says he was the son of a Polish immigrant.
Father: Franko Vlasic ("Frank", dairy distributor)
Wife: Martha Vlasic
Daughter: Joyce Marie Vlasic Blakely ("Sally", b. circa 1929, d. 2004)
Son: Robert James Vlasic (Vlasic executive)
Vlasic Foods Founder & President (1959-63)
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