Business: Host of the Highways

HOWARD JOHNSON

THE travel-weary U.S. motorist has been conditioned to think of food—and a chance to let the kids out of the car—when he spots a roof of bright orange tile along the highway. This "landmark for hungry Americans" is the trademark of Howard Dearing Johnson, a onetime cigar salesman who has become a part of Americana (teenagers call his places "Hojos") by catering to the common denominator of U.S. taste and haste. Johnson, 63, not only controls the world's largest restaurant chain (607), but has set up motor lodges in 24 states, now...

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