Ex-head of Nathan's Famous hot dogs dies at 89

By MATT SEDENSKY | May 15, 2011 | 4:58 PM EDT

MIAMI (AP) — The man who helped turn his father's Coney Island, N.Y, hot dog stand into a nationally-recognized chain has died in Florida.

Murray Handwerker, the former head of Nathan's Famous hot dogs, was 89 years old. Murray's son, Bill Handwerker, says his dad died Saturday at his home in Palm Beach Gardens.

Murray Handwerker was just a child when his father, Nathan, opened his frankfurter business.

He went on to work in all aspects of the business and eventually led its transformation into a hot dog powerhouse, opening new locations, offering franchises, putting products in supermarkets and leading the company to go public.

He sold the business in 1987, but his son says he enjoyed hot dogs to the very end of his life.