HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Fast food lovers across state are mourning the loss of a true Mississippi visionary and businessman.
Richard Ward, who cofounded Ward’s Restaurants in 1978 with his late brother, Edgar, has died. The business announced the sad news in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
“Without the vision and personality of Richard Ward the Ward’s restaurant system would not be what it is today,” the post reads. “His personality and love of people influenced generations and will continue to impact lovers of chili burgers, chili dogs and homemade rootbeer for years to come.”
Edgar and Richard founded the first Ward’s in Hattiesburg on May 28, 1978, according to the company’s website. The restaurant has been serving University of Southern Mississippi students homemade burgers, chili and root beer ever since.
The restaurant may have been founded in Hattiesburg, but it has expanded to 39 locations over the past 35 years, becoming a South Mississippi institution.