|Birth Day:||January 24, 1930|
|Death Date:||Nov 25, 2010 (age 80)|
As per our current Database, Bernard Matthews died on Nov 25, 2010 (age 80).
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He worked as an auctioneer for livestock at Waters & Son. He flunked out of secondary school.
Bernard Trevor Matthews was born in 1930 in Brooke, Norfolk, the son of a car mechanic and his housekeeper wife. Skilled at mathematics, he won a scholarship to the City of Norwich School, but found it difficult to settle. As a result of this, he failed his exams. The headmaster refused to let Matthews' exam failure reduce the school's pass-rate and so Bernard Matthews left school with no qualifications.
After serving his two-year national service in No. 617 Squadron RAF, Matthews became an insurance clerk, and started his company in 1950, buying more turkeys. He was only able to join the business full-time after spending £3,000 buying the dilapidated Great Witchingham Hall and filling its 35 rooms with turkeys. While Matthews and his wife lived in two unheated rooms, turkeys were hatched in the dining-room, reared in the Jacobean bedrooms and slaughtered in the kitchens.
Matthews married Joyce Reid in 1952 with whom he adopted three children, Kathleen, Jason and Victoria. Matthews also had a son, Frederick Elgershuizen, by Dutchwoman Cornelia Elgershuizen, whom he lived with for eight years, from when he split from his wife in the mid 1970s until the early 1980s. Both Matthews and his wife lived in the grounds of Great Witchingham Hall, and had a villa in St Tropez.
In 1964 he met Nikita Khrushchev to discuss the modernisation of the Soviet poultry industry. In 1980 the company launched its first TV commercial featuring Turkey Breast Roast, with Matthews himself introducing the famous "Bootiful" catchphrase in his thick Norfolk accent, and becoming part of what has been described as the "national consciousness".
In 1989 Matthews was awarded the Queen's Service Medal by the Government of New Zealand for services to the New Zealand meat industry. He was later appointed a CVO in the 2006 New Year Honours List, for his service with the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, a scheme for which he had also previously been appointed a CBE. However, in view of the H5N1 outbreak in late January 2007 at his Holton, Suffolk, plant, Matthews asked for the investiture on 9 February 2007, at which he had been due to receive the CVO, to be postponed. In January 2010, he retired from the position of Chairman of Bernard Matthews Farms at the age of 80.
Matthews was a multi-millionaire with a fortune estimated at over £300m. His possessions included a motor yacht (sold by the time of his death), a Cessna Citation II private jet, and a Rolls-Royce motor car. He died on 25 November 2010, aged 80. His death resulted in the passing on of his empire and wealth to his eldest biological child.
Currently, Bernard Matthews is 92 years, 5 months and 8 days old. Bernard Matthews will celebrate 93rd birthday on a Tuesday 24th of January 2023.
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