KFC News: A Look Back at the Life of Colonel Sanders

Jan 19, 2016 01:11 AM EST | By Shilpa Chakravorty

Below a bust designed by Margaret Sanders, in Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville lies Colonel Sanders, most commonly known as the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

As for his contribution to the world, it is stated on his grave as "Founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken Empire."

Born in 1890, in Indiana, Sanders was forced to become the cook of the house when his father died while he was young, leaving his mother to support him and his two siblings.

Later on, Sanders often told his story about his first baked bread. He started looking for a job at ten, and moved from job to job to sustain his family. For the next thirty years, Sanders tried every opportunity which came in front of him, and his career included working as a fireman, ferryboat operator, and even as an army man.

In 1930, Sanders owned a gas company in Corbin, Kentucky and he along with his family stayed at the back. To ease off boredom, and sway them from the poor standards of living, every Sunday Sanders cooked a variety of dishes including steak, country ham and fried chicken.

When travelers at the gas station started asking Sanders for recommendation, Sanders realized his potential for extra earnings where he served hungry travelers his family's dinners.

Sanders called his foods "Sunday Dinner, Seven Days a Week", and all his dishes were famous, especially the fried chicken. Soon Sanders fame spread and the Governor of Kentucky, Ruby Laffon gave Sanders the honorary title of Colonel to recognize his contribution to the cuisines of the state.

In the early 1950s, Sanders, in his mid 60s drove around the country trying to sell his "11 secret herbs and spices" recipes to restaurants and asking a nickel for each sale.

In 1952, he cracked his first deal with Peter Harmon, the owner of Do Drop Inn located in Salt Lake City. By 1959, Sanders made great progress in his business, made approximately 200 deals, and finally sold his company "Kentucky Fried Chicken" in 1964 for two million dollars.

Sanders always wore his white suit and black string bowtie, until his death in 1980, but was dissatisfied with the taste of the chicken and gravy.

Could it be we're missing out a lot on the less-than-original chicken and gravy we're eating today?

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