DOWN HOME: Don Tyson greets Mike Beebe at Neals Cafe in 2007.

  • DOWN HOME: Don Tyson greets Mike Beebe at Neal’s Cafe in 2007.

Don Tyson, retired president and CEO of Tyson Foods, has died of cancer at age 80. He was chairman of the company from 1977 to 1991, a period during which the family poultry business grew from $50 million to $10 billion in revenue. His death brought on outpouring of tributes from politicians, friends and associates who remembered him as a down-home figure who worked hard and played hard.

The company’s statement and obituary follows, along with a statement from Bill Clinton: