Kentucky Fried Chicken founder Colonel Harland David Sanders was born on this day (1890-1980) in Henryville, Indiana and began cooking for his family at age six after his father died and his mother went to work.
Sanders dropped out of grade school and worked many different jobs. He was a railroad fireman, studied law on his own, started a ferry company, and ran a service station. Always, he was known for his cooking.
Sanders’ fame grew. "In recognition of his contributions to the state’s cuisine," Governor Ruby Laffoon made him a Kentucky Colonel, the state’s highest honorary title.
"You got to like your work," Sanders said. "You have 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 it makes a difference, don't you see?"
"I got to thinking about it... and it came to me that one thing I always could do was cook," Sanders said. He spent years perfecting his fried chicken recipe, adjusting his pressure cooker and recipe with its "secret blend of 11 herbs and spices." At the ripe age of 65, he licensed his chicken recipe as Kentucky Fried Chicken.
In 1964, with over 600 franchises in the United States and Canada, he sold the company for $2 million and stayed on as company spokesman.
"There's no reason to be the richest man in the cemetery. You can't do any business from there," Sanders once said.
By 2011, over 12 million customers in 109 countries and at 15,000 locations visit KFC each day.
Make sure your life is finger lickin' good