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Harland David Sanders (September 9, 1890 – December 16, 1980), famously known as Colonel Sanders, was the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). In 1896 Harland's father died, forcing his mother to enter the workforce to support the family. At the tender age of six, young Harland was responsible for taking care of his younger siblings and doing much of the family's cooking. During his teen years, Sanders worked many jobs, including firefighter, steamboat driver, insurance salesman, and he served as an Army private in Cuba.
The beginning of Kentucky Fried Chicken Edit
In 1930, the then 40 year old Sanders was operating a service station in Corbin, Kentucky, and it was there that he began cooking for hungry travelers who stopped in for gas. He didn't have a restaurant yet, so patrons ate from his own dining table in the station's humble living quarters. It was then that he invented what's called "home meal replacement", selling complete meals to busy, time-strapped families. He called it, "Sunday Dinner, Seven Days a Week."
The cook becomes a colonel Edit
As Sanders' fame grew, Governor Ruby Laffoon made him a Kentucky Colonel in 1935 in recognition of his contributions to the state's cuisine. Within four years, his establishment was listed in Duncan Hines' "Adventures in Good Eating."
As more people started coming strictly for the food, he moved across the street to increase his capacity. Over the next decade, he perfected his secret blend of 11 herbs and spices and the basic cooking technique that is still used today.
Developing the franchise Edit
In 1955, confident of the quality of his fried chicken, the Colonel devoted himself to developing his chicken franchising business. Less than 10 years later, Sanders had more than 600 KFC franchises in the U.S. and Canada, and in 1964 he sold his interest in the U.S. company for $2 million to a group of investors including John Y. Brown Jr. (who later became governor of Kentucky).
His death Edit
The colonel was fatally stricken with leukemia in 1980 at the age of 90. He has traveled 250,000 miles a year visiting KFC restaurants around the world.