Harry Winokur was one of four sons from a poor family in Boston. At eight, he began working in his father’s grocery store and later sold newspapers.
After graduating from high school, Winokur worked while taking correspondence courses, and at age 25, he became a certified public accountant. Seeing opportunities in the food business, he abandoned accounting during World War II and opened a catering business to feed factory workers.
Observing that coffee and donuts were popular items, Winokur opened a doughnut shop in 1949. He built his business into one of the nation’s largest chains of drive-in doughnut shops, with more than 600 Mister Donut outlets. After selling the company in 1970, Winokur stayed on to help steer expansion to more than 800 locations.