Inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs

Inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs

Dr. P.K. Sethi, 80; Indian physician developed an affordable prosthetic leg (Jan. 6)

Carl Karcher, 90; Orange County entrepreneur who created the Carl’s Jr. hamburger empire (Jan. 11)

Richard Knerr, 82; co-founder of toy company Wham-O Inc., maker of the Hula Hoop and the Frisbee (Jan. 14)

Mildred Callahan Jones, 64; her simple “It’s a Boy” flag helped launch the decorative-flag industry (Jan. 17)

Lovie Yancey, 96; founder of the Fatburger restaurant chain, which began as a popular post- World War II hamburger stand in South Central Los Angeles (Jan. 26)

Gary Gygax, 69; co-creator of the fantasy game Dungeons & Dragons, which helped start the role-playing phenomenon (March 4)

Joseph Weizenbaum, 85; a computer programmer who invented the natural-language-understanding program known as ELIZA and later grew skeptical of artificial intelligence (March 5)

Al Copeland, 64; founder of the Popeyes chicken restaurants (March 23)

Herb Peterson, 89; invented the Egg McMuffin as a way to introduce breakfast to McDonald’s restaurants (March 25)

Uranus J. “Bob” Appel, 91; bacteriologist and entrepreneur who founded the first publicly owned hospital management company (April 20)

Irvine Robbins, 90; co-founder of Baskin-Robbins, whose penchant for creating unusual flavors pushed post-World War II America far beyond its chocolate-vanilla-strawberry tastes (May 5)

Robert Mondavi, 94; pioneering Napa Valley vintner whose drive and salesmanship revolutionized the way the world thought about California wines (May 16)

Earl Eaton, 85; a uranium prospector who spotted the potential of a then-nameless Colorado peak in 1957 and helped transform it into Vail Mountain ski resort (May 25)

J. R. Simplot, 99; his fascination with potatoes helped change America’s eating habits and made him a billionaire (May 25)

Neal T. Baker, 84; built a fast-food stand in San Bernardino in 1952 that grew into a 36-restaurant chain (May 31)

Paul Thomson, 91; self-taught botanist who co-founded the California Rare Fruit Growers organization and helped expand exotic fruit-growing in the state (May 31)

Hortensia Magaña, 70; Mexican immigrant who with her husband built a $30-million food corporation and who also advocated for Latino workers (July 1)

John Marks Templeton, 95; investor and mutual fund pioneer who dedicated much of his fortune to promoting religion and reconciling it with science (July 8)

Rocky Aoki, 69; Tokyo-born restaurateur whose Benihana steakhouse restaurants brought a version of Japanese teppanyaki cooking to the United States (July 10)

Sid Craig, 76; entrepreneur who co-founded the weight-loss company named for his wife, Jenny (July 21)

Jack A. Weil, 107; entrepreneur who honed the look of western wear with snaps on his cowboy shirts (Aug. 13)

Ed Justice Sr., 87; race-car enthusiast who founded the Duarte-based Justice Bros. oil-additive business with his siblings Zeke and Gus (Aug. 30)

Hyman Golden, 85; co-founder of Snapple Beverage Co. (Sept. 14)

Carmen Rocha, 77; longtime waitress at Los Angeles’ El Cholo Mexican restaurant who is credited with introducing the city to nachos, the now-ubiquitous appetizer of tortilla chips, cheese and jalapeño peppers (Oct. 9)

Carl D. Keith, 88; co-inventor of the three-way catalytic converter (Nov. 9)

Betty James, 90; the wife of the Slinky’s inventor gave the toy its name and later saved the business (Nov. 20)

Andrew McKelvey, 74; billionaire philanthropist who founded (Nov. 27)

Alfred Shaheen, 86; a textile manufacturer who revolutionized the garment industry in postwar Hawaii by designing, printing and producing aloha shirts and other ready-to-wear items under one roof (Dec. 22)

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