Sidney Frank – Founder of Grey Goose, Jägermeister, etc. – Dies at 86
Sidney Frank, the maverick booze baron who started the super-premium liquor revolution with GREY GOOSE vodka, and the man behind JAGERMEISTER died yesterday in San Diego. He was 86. The cause was heart failure, according to his publicist, Sarah Zeiler. Frank was ranked No. 164 on the Forbes 400 Richest Americans list in October, with a net worth of $1.8 billion.
In 1974, Frank stumbled on the obscure German liqueur in a New York bar. Tasting of root beer, black licorice and Vicks Formula 44, older Europeans had been drinking the stuff since 1935 for its medicinal purposes, rather than its strong buzz. At the time, Jägermeister was selling just 600 cases per year in the U.S. Seeing opportunity, Frank flew to Germany to meet then-Jäger Chief Executive Walter Sandvoss and came home with the rights to sell the drink from Maryland to Florida. Other suppliers faltered, and Frank picked up the rest of the country.
In 1986, Frank was struck with another obvious observation: “People love sex.” He parlayed the drink’s early success in southern college towns with the Jägerettes, a group of scantily clad girls who would flirt with male students and convince them to down shots of Jäger instead of Jack Daniels. Last year, sales grew to 2 million cases per year.
For more information on the life of Sidney Frank, click here.