headshot of formerly homeless celebrity Colonel Sanders

Birth Name: Harland David Sanders
Birth Date: September 9, 1890 (Died: December 16, 1980)
Birth Place: Henryville, Indiana, United States


Colonel Harland David Sanders was an American businessman and the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).

He is best known for developing a unique fried chicken recipe that became the foundation for KFC’s success.

Born in 1890 in Henryville, Indiana, Sanders had a difficult childhood.

His father died when he was just five years old, and his mother was forced to take in laundry to make ends meet.

Sanders left school in the seventh grade to work on the family farm and later held a variety of jobs, including working as a farmer, a gas station operator, and a tire salesman.

In the 1930s, Sanders began selling fried chicken from a roadside restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky.

His restaurant, called Sanders Court & Café, gained a loyal following and Sanders began to franchise his concept.

However, Sanders faced several setbacks and financial difficulties throughout his life.

He owned a number of failed businesses, including a ferry boat company and a motel, and at one point, he and his wife reportedly slept in their car while traveling to promote his chicken franchise.

Despite these challenges, Sanders persevered and eventually found success with KFC.

He became a well-known figure, known for his white suit and goatee, and served as a company spokesman until his death in 1980.

Today, KFC is a global fast food chain with thousands of locations around the world.


Celebrity signature of Colonel Sanders

official signature of celebrity Colonel Sanders

Fun facts about Colonel Sanders

  • Appeared in several B-movies, mostly walk-on appearances as himself, in exchange for free fried chicken to the film crew.
  • Before he started his restaurant chain, he drove across the country offering his fried chicken recipe to restaurants, in exchange for royalites for each dish sold. He had over 3,000 rejections before his first sale.
  • Opened his first KFC franchise at the age of 64.


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