The Inspiring Story of Colonel Sanders: Story of KFC

Colonel Harland Sanders – A Man with a Billionaire Mind

I mean who doesn’t like “a Crispy fried Chicken” from KFC if being a non-vegetarian. But do you know the success story behind the founder of the Kentucky Fried Chicken or KFC ? So, the founder of the KFC was/is Harland Sanders, who’s popularly known today as Colonel Harland Sanders or Colonel Sanders and today in this article we’re going to know about his struggles and sacrifices including the success story of KFC So, Harland was born on 9th September 1890. Despite of being served as a army person the name Colonel wasn’t given by the army, but  a governor.

Early Life

So, he born on 9th September 1890, but unfortunately his father died when he was just 5 years old, so he had to take care of his family and siblings too. Later in the seventh grade, he quit schooling and started working in the farm, because, at that age, he had to leave his house due to the regular fights and disagreements with his step dad. As he was the only child of his mother who was getting all the hate from their new step dad. So, he started working in the farm.

Struggle for the Livelihood

At the age of just 16, he faked his age and joined US state Army, but just after a year he got honourably spilled out from the job, though he didn’t get his nickname “colonel” from the army, and very few people know this. Later when he was just 18 years old, he got married to a girl namedJosephine’, when he already had lost four of his jobs, but in just two years, Josephine and Harland got separated, and Josephine left their home, with their child.

Later after losing the army job, he worked in a railway as a labourer, but due to his strange behaviour and a severe fight with a colleague, the authority fired him, and dang.. he lost another job. Later after splitting out from the railway job, he then studied law, but it was still not easy for him to stay at one place, and just after few months, he fought with someone related to his work and ruined all his legal (law) life/Carrier.

From 1920 to 1930 Harland worked for various companies. So while working for Michelin tire company in 1924, he went to Winchester, Kentucky to work as a salesman, but the company closed it’s plant. In 1924 , a general manager of Standard oil company of Kentucky asked him to work for a service station in Nicholasville. But in 1930 they had to close the service station due to the result of depression.

Harland Sanders (Himself) talking about his First Job

Later Life and KFC Struggle Story/Story of KFC

In mid 1930’s Shell oil company offered to run a service station in north Corbin, where he used to sell fried chicken in return he used to pay back some percent of every sale to the company. This was the first practice of the first business of Harland’s restaurant and the initial story of KFC. Initially he used to serve the customers in the adjacent quarters and later opened a restaurant. But soon after some years he got into one fight with a local competitor who used to paint his advertisements over Harland’s advertisement. He fought with him a lot for the justice, but the fight got into physical fight and the opponent killed Harland’s partner with a gun and somehow during the fight, Harland fired a bullet at the opponents shoulder, somehow he got out of the case.

Later in 1939, his North Corbin restaurant got destructed due to fire at the oil station, but our hero didn’t lose, he fought back with more power and he rebuilt the restaurant with 140 seats in total, by acquiring a motel in Asheville in North Carolina. Later in 1941 he worked and finalized his secret chicken recipe but he had to close down his Ashville motel due to World War II. So, then he worked as a supervisor, he then ran cafeterias, he got divorce from Josephine and married the waitress from his first restaurant, and his new wife’s name was Claudia in 1949.

KFC founder cutting cake
Source: Google | By Prnewswire

Franchising and the later Story of KFC

In 1949-1952 Harland started searching for a hotel owner to franchise his secret recipe but no one was ready to accept it. Every time he used to go to some restaurant, he used to make his dish and serve to them, and they used to deny, later after trying in 1009 hotels, finally he got a hotel owner named Pete Harman of South Salt lake, Utah who agreed to take the franchise, and luckily the hotel’s income tripled due to that new secret recipe. Later after the success of the new franchise, a sign painter appointed by Harman named the chicken as Kentucky fried chicken, later several restaurants approached Harland and took the franchise with the same name and gave $ 0.04 to Sanders per chicken.

Soon Harland had to close down his Corbin restaurant due to reduced customer support. But then Claudia and Harland opened a restaurant somewhere in the Shelbyville in 1959, they often had to sleep in the car during these days. Meanwhile, Harland used to drive everywhere in the US, offering franchise of the KFC, but later the potential franchises of KFC started approaching Harland. In a few years KFC was already been to Canada, UK, Jamaica in 1960.

Selling the Corporation and Old Age

Later in 1964 at the age of 73 years, Harland sold the KFC corporation to a lawyer and a potential governor for total of $ 2 million. But even after selling the corporation, Harland was the company’s symbol, and he also used to travel 200,000 miles per year on the company’s behalf and used to film TV commercials. Later Harland and his wife reopened their Shelbyville restaurant as “Claudia Sanders”, as part of a full-service dinner menu, and it was/is the only non-KFC restaurant which serves the authorised KFC fried chicken. So, this was the complete story of KFC foundation and the company’s struggle in later years

Colonel Harland Sanders in 1974
Colonel Harland Sanders in character by
Edgy01
/Dan Lindsay is licensed under (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Death and Descendants Information

At the age of 90, Harland died due to Pneumonia in Jewish Hospital in Louisville. While, Claudia died in 1997. While his only daughter (Mildred) from Josephine died on May 26, 2020. She was a hair stylist for 49 years, while his son from Claudia died in 1932 due to infected tonsils. While his daughter Margaret Sanders from Claudia died in 2019, and she was Actor/Producer.

Things To Mention | Billionaire Says

Things To Mention

  • The honorary title “Colonel”, was given to Harland when he was 40 years old. At that time Harland used to run a restaurant in Kentucky, and the honorary title of “Colonel” was given to Harland by a Governor.
  • There’s a ‘Harland Sanders café and Museum’ built in Corbin in the same area where colonel developed his secrete recipe.
  • In the ‘Harland Sanders café and Museum’, all kinds of information related to the great story of KFC is provided through boards and photo frames.

Billionaire Once Said

Sometimes you have to fail to figure out what works.

Colonel Harland Sanders

        So, Through this we can learn that, ‘No matter how things go or how many problems come our way, we should never lose hope’ and it’s true that “It’s our hope that makes us human”

Quote Of The Day

No matter where you go, what you choose, there will always be 500 ton load of shit waiting for you.

Mark Manson (In the book “The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck”)

In Case You like to listen more facts about Colonel Sanders’s Life

In case you want to read more inspirational and motivational stories like this then, you can read about “The struggle of Dhirubhai Ambani” and “An Entrepreneurial mind behind OYO Rooms

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