William Rosenberg, 86, founder of Dunkin’ Donuts, Inc., passed away Friday night at his home on Cape Cod. Rosenberg had successfully overcome several bouts of cancer over the past two decades. He died from complications related to bladder cancer.

A public memorial service will be held at Stanetsky Memorial Chapel, 1668 Beacon Street, Brookline, Massachusetts at 1 PM on Tuesday, September 24. A burial service will follow at Sharon Memorial Park in Sharon, Massachusetts.

William Rosenberg was a natural entrepreneur whose positive attitude, personal intuition and customer focus helped change the business landscape across America and around the world. He has been hailed as a “visionary” by Success magazine and as “the father of franchising as we know it today,” by Nation’s Restaurant News, whose publisher Alan Gould in 2001 called Rosenberg, “one of the most influential and innovative individuals the foodservice industry has ever known.”

Bill Rosenberg embodied the American spirit of hard work and passion. He came of age during the depression and, despite a limited education, his hard work and spirit brought wealth and fame and enabled him to become a philanthropist in his senior years. Rosenberg made a major impact in three different areas: as founder of Dunkin’ Donuts, as founder of the International Franchise Association, and as a force in the harness racing industry.