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Founder of Wienerschnitzel John Galardi Passes Away

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John Galardi, who opened the first Wienerschnitzel hot dog stand in Los Angeles in 1961, passed away of pancreatic cancer on Sunday. The chain had grown to have over 300 outlets across the United States. He was 75.

Galardi spent his years slanging eats at fast food chains, working for Taco Bell founder Glen Bell at the restaurant Taco Tia in Pasadena in 1961. The enterprising young man, who was born in Kansas City, opened the first Wienerschnitzel in the Wilmington area of L.A. at the age of 23. The restaurant specialized in hot dogs and chili.

Since then, hot dogs have gone gourmet in L.A. -- with the some even saying that wieners are the next big thing to hit the scene after hot dogs. (Fritzi Dogs, Dog Haus, Wurstkuche, and Umami's revamp of Old Papoo's Hot Dog Show are just a few places that have jumped on the trend.) Galardi paved the way for these cased-meat innovators.

"Galardi built a brand representative of a time when life was simpler, a brand that holds a special place in the hearts of so many families in America," Tase said in a statement to the Associated Press. "He will be deeply missed."