March 23, 2012 by staff
Murray Lender, Murray Lender, 81, who helped turn his father’s small Connecticut bakery into a national company credited with introducing bagels to many Americans, died Wednesday at a Miami hospital of complications from a fall several weeks ago, said his wife, Gillie Lender.
Lender’s father, Harry, immigrated to the United States from Lublin, Poland, in 1927 and opened what would become Lender’s Bagels that year in an 800-square-foot bakery in New Haven, Conn.
Murray Lender was born in 1930, and four years later Harry Lender bought a larger bakery as the business prospered. Murray and his brothers all went on to work for the family business.
The Lenders began selling bagels in packages to supermarkets in 1955. In 1960, two years after Harry Lender died, the Lenders started freezing their bagels and shipping them across the country.
Murray served as the company’s chief executive and was known for promoting Lender’s Bagels in TV commercials. He also became chairman of the National Frozen Food Assn.
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