Tom Foster Biography
Claim to Fame: Former head of Foster Poultry Farms
DOB: Oct. 24, 1949
Date of Death: September 22, 1999
Diabetes Type: 1
Born October 24, 1949, Thomas Orrin Foster was the youngest of three sons born to Max Foster, founder of Foster Poultry Farms, one of the nation's top privately held companies. Thomas developed diabetes as a child, which led to heart problems.
His brother Paul ran the company from 1969 to 1977, when he passed away from a heart attack. Tom took over as president and chief executive officer of the company. Tom Foster was a man who rarely dressed up and had a true passion for auto racing. In the early 1990's, he stepped down from his position at Foster Poultry Farms, brought in outside executives, and devoted more time to his hobby – auto racing. He founded Tracer Racing, which designs and races sports cars. Tom won more than 200 races and 7 of Tracer's 13 national titles in Sports Car Club of America competitions.
He was also instrumental in many other ventures. He supported the Sierra Vista Children's Center, which provides homes and schooling for abused and neglected children; the DARE drug education program; and other charities, including American Red Cross relief for California residents displaced by floods and other disasters.
Thomas Foster died Sept. 22 at the age of 49 at his home in Hickman, Calif., from diabetes and related heart problems. He is survived by his son, Trevor, and daughter, Emilie Ann. His funeral was held the same day he was to receive the Angel of the Year award from the Sierra Vista Children's Center.
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