Donald J. Tyson (born 1930) is a United States businessman, who was the President and CEO of Tyson Foods during its rise to the top of the food business.
Don Tyson was born in Arkansas. He attended the public schools in Springdale, Arkansas, and completed his education at Kemper Military School in Boonville, Missouri, and at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
In 1944, at an age 14, Tyson was first introduced into the poultry industry as a chicken catcher and truck driver at Tyson’s Feed and Hatchery, the family's poultry feed and live production business started by his father, John W. Tyson. In 1952, Don Tyson left the University of Arkansas to join his father in expanding the business. The company opened its first poultry processing plant in 1958 on Randall Road in Springdale, with Don Tyson serving as the first plant manager.
Don Tyson was named president of Tyson’s Foods, Inc. in 1966. He served as the company's CEO and chairman from 1967 to 1991, as its chairman from 1991 to 1995, and as its senior chairman from 1995 until his retirement in 2001. During his tenure, the company's revenue increased from $51 million to more than $10 billion, and Tyson Foods grew to become one of the largest manufacturing companies in the world. In his retirement, Mr. Tyson has continued to serve as a consultant to the company and as a member of its board of directors. His son, John H. Tyson was the CEO of Tyson Foods from 1999-2006 and is currently chairman.
An avid fisherman, Tyson is currently serving on the Boards of Directors of the Billfish Foundation and the International Game Fish Association.