Have you been rejected or disappointed time and time again? Well, Colonel Harland Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken(KFC)did But he took his failures and didn't just make lemonade. He made the world a better place.
In 1952 at the age of 65, when most people are looking at slowing down and retiring, Harland David Sanders began Kentucky Fried Chicken(KFC).
Harland David Sanders was born on September 9, 1890, He was the oldest of three children born to Wilbur David and Margaret Ann Sanders. His father was a mild and affectionate man who worked his 80-acre farm until he broke his leg after a fall.
Harland Sanders was born in 1890 and grew up on a farm in Indiana. When he was 6 years old, Sanders’ father died, leaving him to take care of his younger brother and sister while his mom spent long days working. Harland Sanders was required to be a babysitter and take care of younger brother and sister at home and by the age of 7, he was already a decent cook.
At 16, he faked his age to enlist in the United States army. After being honorably discharged a year later. He got hired by the railway as a laborer. However, he got fired for fighting with a coworker. While he worked for the railway, he studied law until he ruined his legal career by getting into another fight. Sanders was forced to move back in with his mom and get a job selling life insurance. And guess what? He got fired for insubordination. But this guy wouldn't give up.
In 1920, Sanders established a ferry boat company, which operated a boat on the Ohio River between Jeffersonville and Louisville. He canvassed for funding, becoming a minority shareholder himself, and was appointed the secretary of the company. The ferry was an instant success. Around 1922 he took a job as a secretary at the Chamber of Commerce in Columbus, Indiana. He admitted that he was not very good at the job, and resigned after less than a year. Sanders cashed in his ferry boat company shares for $22,000 ($324,000 today) and used the money to establish a company manufacturing acetylene lamps. The venture failed after Delco introduced an electric lamp that is sold on credit.
Sanders moved to Winchester, Kentucky, to work as a salesman for the Michelin Tire Company. He lost his job in 1924 when Michelin closed its New Jersey manufacturing plant. In 1924, by chance, he met the general manager of Standard Oil of Kentucky, who asked him to run a service station in Nicholasville. In 1930, the station closed as a result of the Great Depression.
It wasn't until age 40 that he began selling chicken dishes in a service station. As he began to advertise his food, an argument with a competitor resulted in a deadly shootout. Four years later, he bought a motel which burned to the ground along with his restaurant. Yet this determined man rebuilt and ran a new motel until World War II forced him to close it down.
Following the war, he tried to franchise his restaurant. His recipe was rejected 1,009 times before anyone accepted it. Sander's "secret recipe" was coined "Kentucky Fried Chicken", and quickly became a hit. However, the booming restaurant was crippled when an interstate opened nearby so Sanders sold it and pursued his dream of spreading KFC franchises & hiring KFC workers all across the country.
After years of failures and misfortunes, Sanders finally hit it big. KFC expanded internationally and he sold the company for two million dollars ($15.3 million today). Even today, Sanders remains central in KFC's branding and his face still appears in their logo. His goatee, white suit and western string tie continue to symbolize delicious country fried chicken all over the world.
Sanders was diagnosed with acute leukemia in June 1980. He died at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, of pneumonia on December 16, 1980, at the age of 90. Sanders had remained active until the month before his death, appearing in his white suit to crowds. His body lay in state in the rotunda of the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort after a funeral service at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Chapel, which was attended by more than 1,000 people. Sanders was buried in his characteristic white suit and black western string tie in Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville.