Colonel Sanders By Conner Boyd

Early Life

  • Born on September 9, 1890 in Henryville, Indiana.
  • Born as Harland Sanders.
  • His father passed when he was only six, forcing him to learn to cook for his siblings and family.
  • He quit school in sixth grade.
  • When he was 16, he lied about his age to be able to join the army.

First Jobs

  • Sold tires for Michilen in the 1920s.
  • Started a fairy boat company in 1925 transporting people across the Ohio River.
  • Owned a gas station in the 1930s.
  • He also dabbled in being a lawyer.

Kentucky Fried Chicken

  • Colonel Sanders learned to make fried chicken in a pressure cooker when he was young.
  • He was passionate about cooking and felt he could make the best chicken.
  • He sold chicken at his roadside restaurant/gas station during the Great Depression.
  • His chicken was so highly regarded, he decided to open his own restaurant dedicated to chicken.
  • The first KFC franchise was opened in Utah in 1952.
  • The demand for the Colonel's chicken was so high, it led to a rapid expansion of KFC.
  • KFC took over the country as the premiere fast-food chicken chain, due to how quickly it could be made while still tasting good.
  • By the time Colonel Sanders sold KFC in 1964, there were over 600 franchised outlets.

Entrepreneurial Strategies

In terms of his entrepreneurial strategy, Colonel Sanders was improving a product or process. Colonel Sanders did not invent fried chicken, but he truly believed he made the best. The feedback he received off of selling his fried chicken at a small restaurant in Kentucky inspired him to open a chain of restaurants known as KFC. The popularity of KFC sky-rocketed, and Colonel Sanders decided to sell the company to investors for 2 million dollars in 1964. In 1966, KFC decided to go public and in 1969 it was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Heublein Inc. acquired KFC in 1971 for 285 million dollars. In 1986, KFC was acquired by Nabisco Inc. for roughly 840 million dollars. The value of KFC increased 420 times over from the time Colonel Sanders sold it in 1964. His genius in success came through his marketing of the fried chicken. He described his chicken as the best, and the masses went crazy for it. His chicken was so highly regarded that KFC has become the largest fast-food chicken restaurant in the world today.

Other Interesting Facts

  • Colonel Sanders coined the nickname, "The Colonel" from the governor of Kentcuky due to how good his fried chicken was.
  • When one of his gas station billboards was vandalized, he shot the vandal in the shoulder.
  • Sanders tried out many different jobs. Perhaps the most crazy job he tried was delivering babies in Corbin, Kentucky.
  • Sanders tried to sue KFC for 122 million dollars after he sold it because he described their new gravy as "slop".
  • Although KFC describes their chicken today as the colonel's recipe, Colonel Sanders swore KFC stopped using his recipe after he sold it.
  • He apparently always wore his famous white suit, wearing different variations to have more comfort in different seasons. He was even buried in it.

The Legacy of Colonel Sanders

  • Colonel Sanders started one of the most popular fast-food chains in America.
  • He was such a popular and like-able guy, he was and still is the face of KFC today.
  • KFC uses Colonel Sanders for their marketing today, and his legacy lives on through the restaurant.
  • Colonel Sanders died due to leukemia on December 16, 1980, at the age of 90.
  • Before he died, he created the Colonel Harland Sanders Trust and Colonel Harland Sanders Charitable Organization.
  • His organizations live on today, and have contributed millions toward charity and scholarships.
  • Legend has it Colonel Sanders donated so much money towards charity because he did not want the legacy of being the richest man in the cemetery.

If I could ask Colonel Sanders one question, it would be, what inspired you to take a risk to start your businesses and careers? I'd want to know why he was able to continue trying new things after having failed at quite a few. His determination and drive was unmatched, and I'd love to know how he kept both of those going.



Created with images by Tasha Abu Bakar - "Colonel Sanders" • loresjoberg - "Still Life With Chicken and Glow-In-The-Dark Skull" • k.steudel - "Colonel Sanders Christmas Coloring Book" • FaceMePLS - "Grafitti Spuistraat Amsterdam" • k.steudel - "Colonel Sanders" • dno1967b - "Sortie" • JeepersMedia - "KFC" • JeepersMedia - "KFC" • Fund for the Arts Pics - "Colonel Sanders loves the Arts! Thank you!" • navets - "Our Honeymoon"

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