A Rocky Mount native, Joseph Leonard Rawls Jr. attended Rocky Mount public schools, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as an undergraduate and East Carolina University for graduate school. In 1961 he became chairman and president of a new restaurant operation in Rocky Mount, Hardees Food Systems. When he left the company in 1975, there were over 900 Hardees across the southeast. Rawls was also founder of Canton Station restaurants known as Management Affiliates until his death of a heart attack in 1982 at the age of 51.
Inducted into Hall of Fame 2012