KFC, the name itself, waters the mouths of many. Kentucky Fried Chicken, or simply KFC, as the name suggests, is famous for its fried chicken. According to global.kfc.com, there are “more than 25,000 KFC restaurants in over 145 countries and territories around the world.” But do you know about the remarkable story behind this superhit recipe? Do you know the inspiring story of the man behind this finger-licking tasty chicken? You’re at the right place! Know Your Facts brings you the story of the man that gave the world KFC, Colonel Harland Sanders.
Birth and early life
Harland David Sanders was the eldest of his two siblings. He was born on September 9, 1890, in a four-room house 3 miles east of Henryville, Indiana. His father passed away in 1895. Sanders’s mother started working in a tomato cannery, leaving him to look after and cook for his siblings. Around the age of seven, he became skilled with bread and vegetables and improved with meat. In 1903, at the age of 12, he dropped out of seventh grade and went to live and work on a nearby farm. At age 13, he undertook a job which required him to paint horse carriages in Indianapolis. At 14, he relocated to southern Indiana to work as a farmhand.
His jobs over the years
In October 1906, at the age of 16, he faked his date of birth and enlisted in the US Army. Sanders was awarded the Cuban Pacification Medal for successfully completing his role as a wagoner. In 1907, he moved to Sheffield, Alabama, where he started working as a blacksmith’s helper in the workshops thanks to his uncle. Just after two months After two months, Sanders moved to Jasper, Alabama. There he worked as a cleaner, cleaning out the ash pans of trains. He was promoted to work as a steam engine stoker, which he did for three years. After falling sick, he was suspended for “insubordination”. Sanders later found work at the Illinois Central Railroad as a fireman. He lost this job after a brawl with a colleague. He studied law at night by correspondence through the La Salle Extension University. Sanders began practising law in Little Rock, which continued for three years, until he had a brawl with his client in a courtroom, destroying his reputation. In 1916, Sanders started selling life insurance for the Prudential Life Insurance Company in Jeffersonville and was eventually fired for insubordination. He later moved to Louisville and got a sales job with Mutual Benefit Life of New Jersey. In 1929, Sanders established a ferry boat company in which he himself was a shareholder. The company was a success. Sanders used the money he acquired from his shares to establish an acetylene lamp
The birth of the “secret recipe”
In 1930, the Shell Oil Company offered Sanders a service station in North Corbin, Kentucky, lease-free, as a trade-off for paying the organisation a level of sales. Sanders started to serve chicken dishes and different dinners, for example, country ham and steaks. Later, he opened a restaurant. He was given the title “Kentucky Colonel” in 1935 by Kentucky governor Ruby Laffoon. In 1939, his motel and restaurant burned down, but he reopened them again. He finalised and finalised his “Secret Recipe” in 1940, but was forced to close down in 1941 due to World War II.
In 1952, he franchised his secret recipe for “Kentucky Fried Chicken” for the first time to Pete Harman of South Salt Lake, Utah. The recipe was a success, with restaurant sales more than tripling and 75% of the increase coming from KFC sales. The franchise approach was ground-breaking. KFC became one of the first fast-food chains to expand internationally, with chains in Canada, the UK, Australia, Mexico, and Jamaica by the mid-1960s. In 1964, then 73, Sanders sold the KFC Corporation for $2 million to a partnership of Kentucky businessmen headed by John Y. Brown Jr. and Jack C. Massey. In 1965, he moved to Mississauga, Ontario, Canada and lived in a bungalow at 1337 Melton Drive in the Lakeview area of Mississauga from 1965 until his death in 1980.
As a matter of fact, even today, Sanders stays focal in KFC’s branding; his face actually shows up in their logo. From one side of the planet to the other, his goatee, white suit, and western string attach continue to represent the heavenly nation of broiled chicken.