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Tough Man, Tender Chicken: Business and Life Lessons from Frank Perdue

After years of hard work and ensuing success, Mitzi Perdue offers unique and poignant insights to leaders and readers around the world through her biography of Frank Perdue, who revolutionized the chicken industry. Frank Perdue did chores as a child so young he needed two hands to hold a single egg. But from these humblest of beginnings, he built an empire that today spans the globe. Due to his intuitive sense of the market, there is hardly a person over the age of twenty-five who doesn’t know the tagline, “It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken.” Frank Perdue was an extremely thoughtful and thorough businessman. He studied every possible angle of business strategy, getting advice from every possible source, before making an important decision. This is his story, and also a personal story regarding the bond between Frank and Mitzi Perdue. A true case of love at first sight – they were engaged within 24 hours of their first date – and a remarkable partnership. The rich combination of Frank Perdue's life and career and the lessons he imparts, along with Mitzi’s journalistic talents, allow this book to resonate on multiple levels – as a biography, as a business book, and as the tale of a one-of-a-kind American entrepreneur.


I Didn't Bargain For This!

I Didn t Bargain for This! is by Mary Mitzi Henderson Perdue, daughter of Sheraton Hotels co-founder Ernest Henderson and widow of Frank Perdue, the chicken magnate. A central theme of the book is Mitzi s behind the scenes stories of what it took to build the Sheraton Chain and the Perdue chicken company. The book examines the attitudes and approaches that helped both her father and husband achieve success. This book is a light-hearted personal story of a woman who raised two sons as a single Mom; graduated from Harvard; bought and managed rice farms and vineyards in Northern California; became president of the oldest and largest American farm women s organization; was for eight years a television hostess and producer; for two years a syndicated radio hostess; and for almost 22 years, a syndicated environmental columnist; served as a United Nations Delegate to the International Conferences on Women in Nairobi; was a Commissioner of the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science; and established an award-winning health and fitness organization on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The story begins with her childhood experiences in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, as part of a multi-generation New England family. She relates humorous stories about her Dad Ernest Henderson, a business entrepreneur who started Sheraton Hotel Chain with an investment of $ 1,000 and her practical minded socialite Mom who would host parties in the evening after shoveling coal to heat the home during World War II. She recounts her Dad s efforts to promote racial equity and his strong beliefs in fair treatment. Her story describes her first marriage to a former Priest and her second mid-life marriage to Frank Perdue, head of a chicken company that now sells its products in 114 countries. I Didn t Bargain for This is a easy read about Mitzi s life as the daughter of one of America s greatest entrepreneurs and how she chose a life of work and dedication to public causes as an alternative to the celebrity globe-trotting life, she could have pursued. This book is a reminder that the American Dream lives on and public service is a valued American tradition. I Didn t Bargain for This is published by R.J. Myers Publishing and Consulting Company, Washington, D.C.