Joseph Rank, former chairman and last member of founding family, dies at age 80

by Teresa Acklin
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   LONDON — Joseph McArthur Rank, 80, the last member of his family to hold office in one of Britain's largest flour milling and baking companies, died in March. He served for a number of years as chairman of what was Rank Hovis McDougall prior to its acquisition several years ago by Tomkins P.L.C.

   Mr. Rank was president of the National Association of British and Irish Millers during its centennial year. As a scion of one of Britain's most illustrious milling families, he was highly regarded in the industry.

   Born in Yorkshire on April 24, 1918, Mr. Rank was the son of Rowland Rank, one of three sons of the company's founder, Joseph Rank. The latter had established his first flour mill in the port of Hull in 1873, and from that start he built a business that now is among the leaders in British food manufacturing, as well as flour milling and baking.

   In 1965, Rank acquired the Hovis-McDougall business, which gave it additional milling capacity and one of the strongest bread brands in the United Kingdom. Mr. Rank retired as chairman of RHM in 1981, but continued as president until 1993.