Mansfield Fox

Law student. Yankees fan. Massive fraggle. Just living the American dream.

Monday, January 10, 2005

This Guy Really Did Chicken Right

What a great story: just before Christmas, Bobby Brock, a Kentucky man who'd worked for the same KFC for 49 years, retired. He was, as the article puts it, "a KFC original".

That's it. There's no twist, except that the man worked his entire adult life for one employer, a rarity in this age.

Interestingly, Mr. Brock, who's 65, is the same age Colonel Sanders was when he founded the Kentucky Fried Chicken chain. KFC has a fascinating backstory. Sanders, it seems, was a retiree living off his meager Social Security pension. But:
Confident of the quality of his fried chicken, the Colonel devoted himself to the chicken franchising business that he started in 1952. He traveled across the country by car from restaurant to restaurant, cooking batches of chicken for restaurant owners and their employees. If the reaction was favorable, he entered into a handshake agreement on a deal that stipulated a payment to him of a nickel for each chicken the restaurant sold. By 1964, Colonel Sanders had more than 600 franchised outlets for his chicken in the United States and Canada. That year, he sold his interest in the U.S. company for $2 million to a group of investors including John Y. Brown Jr., who later was governor of Kentucky from 1980 to 1984. The Colonel remained a public spokesman for the company. In 1976, an independent survey ranked the Colonel as the world's second most recognizable celebrity.
A real American success story. (Side note: Sanders was only an honorary colonel, though he had been a soldier, serving as a private in Cuba during the first Roosevelt administration.)

Many thanks to Airdog for the initial link.