Harold Max Mayer, 90, the former chairman of Oscar Mayer & Co., who helped oversee the sale of the company in 1981, died April 20.

Mr. Mayer died in his sleep at his home in Indian Wells, Calif., according to Donnellan Family Funeral Services.

Born in Chicago in 1917, Mr. Mayer was the grandson of the company's namesake. He graduated from Cornell University and served in the Army during World War II.

His career in the family business spanned more than 40 years. He served as president of Kartridg-Pak, a subsidiary of Oscar Mayer, which first gained acclaim for its packing method in which hot dogs were banded together and looked like cartridge belts.

Among his other accomplishments, he invented the popular "Smokie Link," a spicy hot dog, and had a role in acquiring and managing Claussen Pickle Co. and Louis Rich Co.

Oscar Mayer was sold to General Foods Corp. in 1981, when Mr. Mayer was chairman of the board.

He also was a member of the owners' syndicate that sent the Bulls NBA franchise to Chicago. - AP