The Creator of Gorton’s Fish Sticks Has Died

Kinney made fish sticks happen.
Kinney made fish sticks happen. Photo: Courtesy of Gorton's

Maine native E. Robert Kinney came from a small town north of Augusta and was the first in his family to graduate from college. During his time working for the Depression-era National Youth Administration, Kinney figured out that he could buy crabs for a penny each from the lobstermen on the docks, who hated pulling them out of their pots. With a $300 loan and a dream, Kinney started selling canned crab, and in ten years his company was worth $2 million. He joined Gorton’s Seafood Co. in 1950 and created the modern frozen fish stick, which changed the way millions of Americans ate dinner. Kinney, who also served as the CEO of General Mills from 1977 to 1981, died last week in Arizona at the age of 96. [NYT, BDN]