Success at last, aged 88 | The story of KFC, more emotional than you might think

  • By Wassim Ejaz 

 How struggle, failure and depression gave birth to KFC


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Colonel Harland David Sanders (1890-1980)

  • 1890 Born
  • 1895 Father died
  • 1900 Started work on a farm
  • 1903 Dropped our of School and left home to work as a painter on a farm
  • 1906 Moved to live with his and work for his uncle at a car company as a conductor
  • 1906 Joined the army with false identity papers
  • 1907 Discharged from the army after only 4 months
  • 1907 Began work on railways
  • 1908 Married
  • 1908 Firstborn Son
  • 1916 With his wife, son and two daughter he moved to work in insurance
  • 1920 Started a boat company, selling for a small profit after one year
  • 1922 Started a lamp company which failed
  • 1924 Worked for Michelin Tires and was quickly fired
  • 1924 Started working at a gas station
  • 1930 The has station closed due to the great depression
  • 1932 His son died of tonsillitis
  • 1935-1939 Ran a restaurant, originally from his flat. Was involved in a gun battle with a rival restaurant, his friend was killed in the battle and his competitor charged with murder leaving Sanders as the only local restaurant.
  • 1942 After his restaurant went bankrupt he worked in government canteens
  • 1950 His personal friend the state governor gives Sanders the honorary title of Colonel
  • 1952 Invented the KFC recipie selling to a restaurant for $0.04 per chicken
  • 1955 The restaurant failed
  • 1955 Sanders left with only $105 government pension, no savings or job he was sleeping in the back of his car
  • 1955-1960 Sanders at his lowest point reportedly attempting suiccide
  • 1960-1965 Sanders patented his method of cooking and acquired franchises making $2 million in 1965 by selling all of the US stores before opening in Canada
  • 1965 Sanders bought a bungalow and his first proper home
  • 1978 Franchise and appearance fees, Sanders became a billionaire aged 88
  • 1980 Sanders died aged 90 as one of the most successful businessmen of all time

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