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ATTLEBORO, Mass. -- Joseph Fernandes, onetime supermarket magnate and fixture of the Portuguese-American community in the state, died Aug. 19 at Sturdy Memorial Hospital here, according to a published report. He was 84.
Fernandes, who immigrated to the United States from Portugal when he was 18 months old, founded the Fernandes Supermarket chain in 1947, when he took over his father's grocery store in Norton, Mass, the New Bedford, Mass. Standard Times reported. He sold the 27-store chain in 1979.
He was a Republican state treasurer in 1966 and served as a State Department adviser on food distribution in Latin America in the 1960s. Fernandes also headed the International Association of Supermarkets, among other organizations.
A leader of business groups and other civic associations, Fernandes was also part-owner of the New Bedford-based Portuguese Times newspaper and the Portuguese Channel cable network.
He is survived by his wife, Anabelle; a son; and two daughters.