57 Facts About Colonel Sanders


Colonel Harland David Sanders was an American businessman, best known for founding fast food chicken restaurant chain Kentucky Fried Chicken and later acting as the company's brand ambassador and symbol.


Colonel Sanders began selling fried chicken from his roadside restaurant in North Corbin, Kentucky, during the Great Depression.


Colonel Sanders recognized the potential of the restaurant franchising concept, and the first KFC franchise opened in South Salt Lake, Utah, in 1952.


Harland David Colonel Sanders was born on September 9,1890, in a four-room house located 3 miles east of Henryville, Indiana.


Colonel Sanders was the oldest of three children born to Wilbur David and Margaret Ann Sanders.


Colonel Sanders's father was a mild and affectionate man who worked his 80-acre farm, until he broke his leg in a fall.


Colonel Sanders then worked as a butcher in Henryville for two years.


Colonel Sanders' mother was a devout Christian and strict parent, continuously warning her children of "the evils of alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and whistling on Sundays".


Colonel Sanders's mother got work in a tomato cannery, and the young Harland was left to look after and cook for his siblings.


When he was 10, in 1900, Colonel Sanders began to work as a farmhand.


In 1902, Colonel Sanders' mother remarried, to William Broaddus, and the family moved to Greenwood, Indiana.


In 1906, with his mother's approval, Colonel Sanders left the area to live with his uncle in New Albany, Indiana.


Colonel Sanders's uncle worked for the streetcar company, and secured Sanders a job as a conductor.


Colonel Sanders falsified his date of birth and enlisted in the United States Army in October 1906, completing his service commitment as a wagoner in Cuba being awarded the Cuban Pacification Medal.


Colonel Sanders was honorably discharged in February 1907 and moved to Sheffield, Alabama, where his uncle lived.


Colonel Sanders progressed to become a fireman from the age of 16.


Colonel Sanders worked the job for nearly three years until he was fired for "insubordination" after he got sick.


Colonel Sanders found laboring work with the Norfolk and Western Railway from 1909.


Colonel Sanders then found work as a fireman on the Illinois Central Railroad, and he and his family moved to Jackson, Tennessee.


Colonel Sanders lost his job at Illinois after brawling with a colleague.


In 1916, the family moved to Jeffersonville, where Colonel Sanders got a job selling life insurance for the Prudential Life Insurance Company.


Colonel Sanders moved to Louisville and got a sales job with Mutual Benefit Life of New Jersey.


In 1920, Colonel Sanders established a ferry boat company, which operated a boat on the Ohio River between Jeffersonville and Louisville.


Colonel Sanders canvassed for funding, becoming a minority shareholder himself, and was appointed secretary of the company.


Colonel Sanders admitted that he was not very good at the job, and resigned after less than a year.


Colonel Sanders cashed in his ferry boat company shares for $22,000 and used the money to establish a company manufacturing acetylene lamps.


Colonel Sanders moved to Winchester, Kentucky, to work as a salesman for the Michelin Tire Company.


Colonel Sanders lost his job in 1924 when Michelin closed its New Jersey manufacturing plant.


Colonel Sanders began to serve chicken dishes and other meals such as country ham and steaks.


Stewart killed a Shell employee who was with Colonel Sanders and was convicted of murder, eliminating Colonel Sanders' competition.


In July 1939, Colonel Sanders acquired a motel in Asheville, North Carolina.


Colonel Sanders went to work as a supervisor in Seattle until the latter part of 1942.


Colonel Sanders later ran cafeterias for the government at an ordnance works in Tennessee, followed by a job as assistant cafeteria manager in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.


Colonel Sanders left his mistress, Claudia Ledington-Price, as manager of the North Corbin restaurant and motel.


In 1947, he and Josephine divorced and Colonel Sanders married Claudia in 1949, as he had long desired.


Colonel Sanders believed that his North Corbin restaurant would remain successful indefinitely; however, he sold it at age 65 after the new Interstate 75 reduced customer traffic.


Colonel Sanders ran the company while Claudia mixed and shipped the spices to restaurants.


Colonel Sanders obtained a patent protecting his method of pressure frying chicken in 1962, and trademarked the phrase "It's Finger Lickin' Good" in 1963.


The initial deal did not include the Canadian operations, which Colonel Sanders retained, nor the franchising rights in the UK, Florida, Utah, and Montana, which Colonel Sanders had already sold to others.


In 1965, Colonel Sanders moved to Mississauga, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto, to oversee his Canadian franchises and continued to collect franchise and appearance fees both in Canada and in the US.


Colonel Sanders bought and lived in a bungalow at 1337 Melton Drive in the Lakeview area of Mississauga from 1965 until his death in 1980.


Colonel Sanders remained the company's symbol after selling it, traveling 200,000 miles a year on the company's behalf and filming many TV commercials and appearances.


Colonel Sanders retained much influence over executives and franchisees, who respected his culinary expertise and feared what The New Yorker described as "the force and variety of his swearing" when a restaurant or the company varied from what executives described as "the Colonel's chicken".


One change the company made was to the gravy, which Colonel Sanders had bragged was so good that "it'll make you throw away the durn chicken and just eat the gravy" but which the company simplified to reduce time and cost.


Colonel Sanders's associates went along with the title change, "jokingly at first and then in earnest", according to biographer Josh Ozersky.


Colonel Sanders never wore anything else in public during the last 20 years of his life, using a heavy wool suit in the winter and a light cotton suit in the summer.


Colonel Sanders had remained active until the month before his death, appearing in his white suit to crowds.


Colonel Sanders's body lay in state in the rotunda of the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort after a funeral service at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Chapel, which was attended by more than 500 people.


Colonel Sanders was buried in his characteristic white suit and black western string tie in Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville.


Colonel Sanders has been voiced by impressionists in radio ads, and from 1998 to 2001 an animated version of him voiced by Randy Quaid appeared in television commercials.


In February 2016, yet another portrayal was introduced with Jim Gaffigan as the Colonel Sanders, shown bolting awake in bed and telling his wife about his recurring nightmare of Macdonald's Colonel Sanders "pretending to be me".


In December 2020, a fictionalized Colonel Sanders was portrayed by Mario Lopez in the 2020 short film A Recipe for Seduction.


Characters based on Colonel Sanders have appeared in popular fiction.


I'm super-excited the story is a trilogy now, with the Colonel Sanders planet-hopping across the DC Universe.


The suit had been given to Cincinnati resident Mike Morris by Colonel Sanders, who was close to Morris's family.


In 2011, a manuscript of a book on cooking that Colonel Sanders apparently wrote in the mid-1960s was found in KFC archives.


Colonel Sanders' foundation has made sizeable donations to other Canadian children's hospitals including the McMaster Children's Hospital, IWK Health Centre, and Stollery Children's Hospital.