Man who popularized bratwurst in the United States dead at 92
Ralph F. Stayer died Sunday, June 24, in his sleep at a Florida nursing home. Stayer was born in Ely, Minnesota, on March 15, 1915, and moved to Milwaukee as a teenager. He dropped out of school one month before graduation to support his parents and five younger siblings in the Civilian Conservation Corps. Stayer bought a butcher shop in 1945 and drew upon the Austrian and Slovenian heritage of he and his wife, Alice, to create a better-tasting bratwurst. Stayer built his butcher shop into the Johnsonville Sausage Co. Over the next 40 years, Johsonville grew into a multi-million dollar company, selling brats in over 40 countries and seasonally at 4,000 McDonald's restaurants and 16 NFL stadiums. Stayer was 92.
Sources: latimes.com, johnsonville.com