AP/ Dan Miller, file
April 1, 2005
Frank Parsons Perdue, the hard-working Eastern Shoreman who gained fame and fortune raising plump chickens for dinner tables up and down the Atlantic Coast, died after a brief illness Thursday evening, March 31, 2005, at his Salisbury, Maryland, home. He was 84. In the early 1970s, he became a TV personality, delivering his own commercials and declaring, "It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken." Newspaper columnist James J. Kilpatrick went on to describe Perdue's television image as that of a man with a "brooder house beak" whose "television commercials have become classics." "The good Lord scored Mr. Perdue's vocal cords for a split-reed oboe and a bass kazoo, and he delivers his TV messages in the mellifluous tones of a rooster caught in a floor fan," the columnist said.