Over 40years after Colonel Sanders’ death, many are still wondering how he was able to set such a legacy. And others ask themselves, how come he never created a fortune in the “colonel” way but from fried chickens?
In this article, we’ll be looking at the inspiring life of Colonel Sanders, an American businessman.
Early and childhood experience of Colonel Sanders
On September 9, 1890, Harland David Sanders was born into a home that had a humble background. He was the eldest child of the children of his parents, Wilbur David Sanders and Margaret Ann Sanders. And they lived in a four-room apartment close to their farm in the eastern part of Henryville, Indiana.
In Henryville, his father worked for two years as a butcher. But that was after he reportedly broke his leg in a fall while he worked in his 80-acre farmland.
Unfortunately, Harland’s father died when he was only 5years old. And in the struggle to make ends meet, his mother, a Christian devout, took up a job in a factory that produced canned tomatoes.
So while she was at work, young David acted as the guardian of his two younger siblings, Catherine and Clarence. He would cook for them and care for them. Therefore by age 7, Sanders’ cooking skills had improved, arising from constant cooking for his siblings.
But in 1899, Sanders got another father. His mother remarried— a marriage that would end following. Yes, Sanders’ mother became a widow the second time.
Colonel Sanders Dropped out of school
Interestingly, two years after the demise of Sanders’ stepdad, he moved with his new family to Greenwood, Indiana. This happened after his mother remarried William Broaddus that same year (1902).
Thus, turbulence characterized Sanders’ childhood. He moved from one and bumped into the next. And he tried to cope with this as a young boy.
But then, the relationship between him and William Broaddus, his step-father, did not help the matter. Neither did coursework at school. Particularly, Algeria, as he had one time acknowledged that Algebra sent him off school in 1903. He was only 12 at the time.
As a result, Sanders decided to leave home at age 13 to take a job in Indianapolis. The first job in his career journey.
Career Journey of Colonel Sanders
The career path and journey of Colonel Sanders are an embodiment of intriguing tales. Hardly could he stay for a long time on a job. And since had no specific formal education, he engaged in many things. Virtually everything he could lay his hands on.
And these jobs range from being a conductor in Streetcar Company, a steam engine stoker (that is, a fireman), a filling station operator, salesman of life insurance, amongst others.
But along the way, he studied law through correspondence at La Salle Extension University, and the degree earned allowed him to practice law for a short while until he got into some problems.
Harland Sanders started his first restaurant
Fast forward to 1930, Harland Sanders started his first restaurant inside a gas station at Corbin, Kentucky. And during that time, he served meals to hungry traveling truck drivers at a dining table. But the meals excluded fried chicken.
However, soon he opened the Sanders’ Café across the street. By this time, the menu had included fried chicken.
And interestingly, in 1935, Ruby Laffoon, the Governor of Kentucky, commissioned Sanders as an honorary colonel. That was long after Sanders had left the US. Army, where he spent several months upon his enlistment in 1906.
But it took decades for his fast food to make a hit.
However, in 1952 Colonel Sander struck his first franchise at Salt Lake City, Utah. That was with the largest restaurant in that city. And interestingly, his friend named Pete Harman, operated the enterprise in question.
As reported by Josh Ozersky, the event at Utah was a significant breakthrough for Colonel Sanders and his brand– now popularly known as KFC– Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Thus, after incorporating the Kentucky Fried Chicken at 65, Colonel Sanders moved across towns and cities, signing up new franchisees.
What is Colonel Sanders known for?
Up till date, Colonel Sanders is known as the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), the second-largest fast-food chain. Although, he has a portfolio mixed with many unrelated jobs.
Also, while he was alive in his days, Sanders gained popularity for his uniquely adorable dressing style and physical appearance. Many might have called him a dandy in his days.
But that would not have been anything far from the truth. Sanders would wear his trademark white suit and string tie, with his goatee nicely shaved. For years—that became the style that he stuck with after adoption, even till death in 1980.
Family and Personal Life of Colonel Sanders
On December 26, 1980, Colonel Harland Sanders died in Louisville in a Jewish hospital, and was buried in Cave Hill cemetery still in Louisville. But before this day, Sanders had lived a life that some may consider a fulfilled life, and others may view otherwise.
In any case, Colonel Sanders was not only a businessman; he was a father too. Yes, he had three children, namely:
March 29, 1910, Margaret Josephine Sanders was born into the world by her parents in Jasper, Alabama. She was about 9years older than her younger sister, Mildred Sanders Ruggles. But then, on October 19, 2001, she gave up the ghost in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Harland Sanders, Jr.
Harland David Sanders Jr. was the first son of his parents. He was born on April 23, 1912, in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Unfortunately, 20years later in Martinsville, Indiana, David died from infected tonsils on September 15, 1932.
Mildred Sanders Ruggles
Mildred Sanders Ruggles was the second daughter of Colonel Harland David Sanders Sr. She was born on August 15, 1919, in Jeffersonville, Indiana, United States. Mildred later died when she was 91 years old, September 21, 2010 in Lexington, Kentucky, United States. But before Mildred Sanders Ruggles passed on she had Marie as part of her name.
All these children were the product of his marital relationship with Josephine king, instituted on June 15, 1909 in Jasper, Alabama.
But as life always happen, Josephine and Harland divorced in 1947. However, two years later, that is 1947, Sanders remarried Claudia Price, his one-time mistress. And they both stayed together till death did the parting.
Colonel sanders Net worth when he died
No doubt Colonel Sanders founded the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) But considering the present-day status and massive expansion of KFC, many still care to know what was Colonel sanders Net worth, an icon in the history of the fast-food chain.
According to Celebrity Net Worth noted that at the point of his death, Colonel Harland Sanders’s net worth of $3.5million. However, when inflation was considered in the valuation, $10.1 million became Colonel sanders net worth as at time of his demise.
Inspiring Quotes of Colonel Sanders
The following are quotes by Colonel Harland David Sanders:
“I have only had two rules: Do all you can and do it the best you can. It is the only way you ever get that feeling of accomplishing something.” —Colonel Sanders
“I am against retiring. The thing that keeps a man alive is having something to do.” —Colonel Sanders
“A lot of learned men think people are the food they have eaten.” —Colonel Sanders
“You got to like your work. You‘ve got to like what you are doing. You have got to be doing something worthwhile so you can like it. Because it is worthwhile that makes a difference, don’t you see?” —Colonel Sanders
“It came to me that the one thing I could do was cook. And I figured I could not do any worse than the people running these places around town.” —Colonel Sanders
“No hours, amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me.” —Colonel Sanders
No doubt, Colonel Sanders’ biography is a true rag-to-grace success story. But unlike other great personalities such as Oprah Winfrey, Jeff Bezos, etc., Colonel Harland’s business success substantially became evident in his 60s. What lesson do you think that has for us in our journey towards success?