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Joseph Rogers, at 97; Waffle House cofounder

ATLANTA — Joseph Wilson Rogers Sr., who went from short-order cook to cofounder of one of the nation's largest restaurant chains, Waffle House, died Friday. He was 97.

Mr. Rogers, born in Jackson, Tenn., was the son of a railroad worker who was laid off during the Great Depression, the company said in a statement announcing the death. After his father's layoff, Mr. Rogers delivered newspapers and laundry to help the family.

During World War II, he joined the Army Air Corps, learned

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