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Murray Handwerker Edit Profile

Food products executive

Murray Handwerker, American food products executive. Named Outstanding Food Service Executive in Fast Food Industry, Metropolitan Food Service Magazine, 1982, Man of Year, Federation Jewish Philanthropies, Catholic Youth Organization of New York, 1976; recipient Humanitarian of Year, New York Easter Seal Society, 1983, Citizenship Merit award, City of New York, Activity award, Jewish Welfare Board.


Murray Handwerker was born on July 25, 1921, to Polish immigrant parents, Nathan and Ida Handwerker, in New York City.


Bachelor, New York University, 1947.


The original Nathan's Famous hot dog stand was opened in Coney Island, Brooklyn, by Handwerker's father, Nathan Handwerker, in 1916. He often visited and worked at his father's hot dog stand as a child. Handwerker served in the United States Army during World War II. In 1947, he received a bachelor's degree in French from New York University.

Handwerker initially took over and renovated the Roadside Rest, a roadside restaurant in Oceanside, New York, during the 1950s. However, he soon returned to his family's hot dog business. Handwerker expanded Nathan's Famous in the decades following World War II. In 1968, Murray Handwerker became the president of the Nathan's Famous chain.

The company reached ten franchises, with 43 restaurants directly owned by the company, by 1977. Additionally, Handwerker wrote a cookbook, Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Cookbook, which was published in 1968. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 68-12738.

He sold the company to a group of investors in 1987. Murray Handwerker died of complications from dementia on May 14, 2011, at his home in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, at age 89.


  • Other Work

    • Author: Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Cookbook, 1983.


Trustee Anchor Savings Bank. Board directors New York Convention and Visitors Bureau. Trustee Ithaca College.

Board directors Brooklyn division National Conference of Christians and Jews. Member of Broadway Association (board directors), Coney Island Chamber of Commerce (past president, board directors), Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce (past president, board directors), Long Island Chamber of Commerce and Industry, New York State Restaurant Association (board directors New York City chapter, president).


Married Dorothy Frankel, December 14, 1941. Children: Steven, Kenneth, William.

Nathan Handwerker

Ida (Greenwald) Handwerker

Dorothy Frankel

Steven Handwerker

Kenneth Handwerker

William Handwerker