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|Subject: W.W. Clements, Dr Pepper Executive|
dead at 88
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Date Posted: October 07, 2002 10:10:56 EDT
Woodrow Wilson Clements, who helped turn Dr Pepper from a regional Texas soft drink into a global brand, died on Thursday at the age of 88, the company said today.
Mr. Clements, who rose from a Dr Pepper delivery truck driver to become chairman of the company, had been hospitalized since Sept. 25 because of complications from dementia.
Mr. Clements started selling Dr Pepper in 1935 from a delivery truck when he was a student at the University of Alabama. He joined the Dr Pepper Company in 1942 and became president and chief operating officer in 1969. He helped expand the market for the soft drink by taking the brand beyond its Texas roots and its base in the Southern states.
Named after President Woodrow Wilson, Mr. Clements chose to be called Foots, a nickname he received as a high school student because of his oddly shaped toes.
Dr Pepper bills itself as the oldest major seller of soft drinks in the United States, with sales starting in 1885. Dr Pepper merged with the Seven Up Company in 1986, and in 1995, Cadbury Schweppes, which is based in London, acquired the Dr Pepper/Seven-Up Corporation.
Dr Pepper's operations in the United States are based in Plano, a suburb of Dallas.
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