There is no end to learning new things in life.Age is not a factor.In all age we have something to learn.Even when we are old we still have to learn.Learning stops only when we are dead.
A living example of founder of KFC, Harland David Sanders who later was known as Colonel Sanders.His life is an example to the world that age is not a factor to rise and shine in life.A brief insights to his struggles, success and failures.
He was born in September 9, 1890 to parents Mr.Wilbur David and Mrs.Margret Ann. His father died when he was just five years of age.He had two more siblings.He was than compelled to look after his two siblings by helping in cooking in order to help his Mother.Sander’s mother somehow managed a job in a tomato canary to support her three children. That was when at that tender age he learned cooking.He became a skillful cook at the age of seven in items like bread and vegetables.When Sanders was 10 years old, he began to work in a farm to earn and help his mother.The farm was owned by two farmers named Charlie Norris and Henry Monk.
In 1902, Sander’s mother remarried and that was the beginning of more struggle in the life of Young Sanders.He could not cope up with his step father and had a very harsh relationship.In the year 1903, he dropped out of school from 7th standard.He was very poor in Mathematics like Algebra. He did not continue schooling than and went to nearby farm to work to avoid his stepfather. Than at the age of 13, he left his house unable to cope with his step father.
Since than he kept on doing many odd jobs without receiving much success in life.Here are the jobs in brief that he did till the age of 65. He left the job in the farm and took a job for painting horse carriages in Indianapolis.He left that job and at the age of 14 and went to Southern Indiana to work as a farmhand for Sam Wilson for the next two years.In the year 1906,he went to live with his Uncle in New Albany where his uncle worked there for the street car company,and secured sanders a job in that company as a conductor.In that year itself he wanted to do something new and joined the Army as a teamster in Cuba.He was discharged with good grades in the year 1907. Now again jobless, he moved to Sheffield,Albania where one of his uncle lived and later discovered that his younger brother clearance also moved there who also like him wanted to escape their step father. Sanders’ uncle was working in the Southern Railway at that time and so helped him find a job there as a black smith’s helper.He didn’t like that job and within just two months he left that job and found a new job of cleaning ash pans of trains of the Northern Alabama Railroad which was under the Division of a Southern Railway.He worked there for sometimes and was promoted to become a fireman(steam engine stoker)at the age of 16 or 17.
He in the year 1909 moved to work with Norflok and Western Railway and there he met Josephine King of Jasper while working in the railroad.They got married and had one son and two daughters.His son Harlard Junior died in the year 1932 from infected tonsils. The other two daughters’ names are Margaret Sanders and Mildred Sanders Ruggles. He changed his job again and found a fireman job on the Illinios central rail road but the income was not sufficient to support his family.At that time Sanders thought that he acquire a degree and started studying Law at night .His wife Josephine took the children to her parents house as Sanders income was not sufficient.Ultimately he completed study of law by correspondence in an University called: La salle Extension University.Than he started to earn enough to support his family and so his wife and children came back to stay with him.he worked as a lawyer for three consecutive years but lost his job after having a brawl in the courtroom with one of his clients.He was jobless again.
After facing so many failures he had to move to stay with his Mother again in Henryvielle and worked as a laborer on the Pennsylvania Railroad.In the year 1916, the entire family moved to Jeffersonville. There Sanders found a job for the first time in to the world of insurance where he worked as an agent for selling insurance in the famous Prudential Life Insurance company but lost the job for having misunderstanding with his superiors.He than tried in Mutual benefit Life of New Jersey and got a job of a salesman.
Whatever he earned from the Insurance company,he started his company in the year 1920.His company was regarding ferry boat which used to operate a boat on the Ohio river between jeffersonville and Louisville.He became the secretary of the company.It was the first success that he had in his life. While venturing into this ferry boat company he took a job as secretary of the Chamber of Commerce in Columbus Indiana.But he resigned from that job admitting to be not very good.Sanders than cashed in his ferry boat company shares and than started acetylene lamps but could not succeed as Delco at that time introduced electric lamp which was sold in credit.
After so many failures after failures Sanders did not lose hope.He needed to find a job badly and worked as a sales man for a Tire Company at Winchestor, Kentucky in the year 1924.The name of the company was Michelin Tyre Company.But the manufacturing unit of the Tyre company at New jersey closed down and again Sanders was jobless.
In the same year the General Manager of standard oil company, kentucky offered him to run a service station in Nicholasville. He was fortunate to work there for another 6 years untill 1930 when the Great depression in America occurred. He was 40 years old by then still without any success.
The turning point in his life began when in the same year i.e. 1930, the Shell Oil Company offered Sanders to open a service station at North Corbin, Kentucky.It was rent free but with a share of sales.There he first opened a Restaurant for the staffs of the oil company and passengers.His restaurant was a big success and it was the first time in his life he thought of earning by cooking. After five years of running the restaurant, Sanders was commissioned as a Kentucky Colonel in 1935 by the kentucky Governor Ruby Laffoon. Soon Sanders started gaining local popularity and by 1939 he and his recipe was published in the famous food magazine called Adventures in Good eating by food critic Duncan Hines who personally visited Sanders’ restaurant.
Sanders expanded his business by opening a Motel in Asheville,North Carolina in the month of July 1939.It was running well too.But bad luck struck him in the month of November 1939 when his Motel cum restaurant at North Corbin caught fire and was completely destroyed.This devastation did not stop him to dream big.He reconstructed his North Corbin Restaurant with a bigger one having a capacity of 140 seats.
The first name and address of his restaurant was as follows:
Corbin KY. SANDERS COURT & CAFE
41-Jct.with 25,25 E.1/2 Mi N. of Corbin. Open throughout the year except on X-Mas.
A very good place to stop en route to Cumberland Falls and the Great Smokies. Continious 24-hour service.Sizzling steaks,fried chicken,country hum,hot biscuits.
Sanders kept on experimenting his recipe and upgrading his service to the customers.Finally in the year 1940 he finalized his secret recipe .However when world war-II began, the United states joined the war in the month of December 1941.This completely hampered the scenario of his business .Gas was rationed and the tourist slowly stopped coming to his restaurant specially at his Ashville restaurant.He kept his mistress Claudia Ledington-Price as the manager of North Corbin Kentucky restaurant and motel.He than went to work as a supervisor in Seattle till the later part of 1942. He did many odd jobs related to restaurants and cafeterias than such as running a cafeterias for the Government at an ordnance works in Tennessee and than Assistant manager in a cafeteria in Oak Ridge,Tennessee. He sold his restaurant Asheville restaurant cum motel as there was no hope of reviving it anymore in those days of world war-II.
In the year 1947 he and Josephine got divorced.He married his mistress Claudia in the year 1949.His restaurant cum motel at North Corbin was running quite well even in the days of war and got better after the world war-II.But not even a single time it came to his mind to expand the business world wide and he knew nothing about franchisee.It was only in the year 1952 when he came to know the huge power of franchisee.He learned how to run the business by franchisee and finally franchised his secret recipe in a new name as : “KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN’ which we popularly know as KFC.
The first person whom Colonel Sanders franchised his KFC was Pete Harman of South Salt Lake,Utah.Pete Harman than was the owner of one of the city’s largest restaurant.The sale multiplied to three times specially the sell of fried chicken.After seeing the success of Harman, many other came forward to get the franchisee from Colonel Sanders.
Challenge struck again in the life of Colonel Sanders.He was very confidant that his North Corbin restaurant would run well for ever but due to construction of new interstate highway, customers got reduced to such an extent that he was compelled to sell his restaurant which he founded first in his life and loved the most.He was left with only his savings and $105 a month from Social security.Sanders traveled throughout the United States to sell his franchisee of KFC. They traveled extensively even by spending the night in the car.Sanders and Claudia visited many restaurants offering his fried chicken and eventually the franchisee. It was a long struggle.However their product i.e. fried chicken got very popular at Utah and many other entrepreneurs rather kept looking for them to get the franchisee.Finally with unending struggle and perseverance ,Colonel Sanders and Claudia were successful in opening a new restaurant at Shelbyville in 1959. Sanders was in charge of managing the company and Claudia was busy in preparing the secret spices that is been added up to the chicken.The franchisee concept became very successful and kept expending outside the United states spreading all over the world.Sanders soon came to know the patent system of marketing and patented his secret recipe of pressure frying chicken in 1962. A classic and appealing trade mark was named after the brand as “Its Finger Licking Good” in the year 1963.
The company kept growing rapidly in to more than 600 locations all over the world by then.It became difficult for him to manage the company as he was 73 years old. It was too difficult to handle so at that age.So he decided to sell the KFC company to two business partners.They were John Y Brown and Jack C. Massey.He sold the KFC corporation for $2 million which would be more than 15.3 million today. However the deal did not include his KFC business of Canada, England, Utah ,Florida and Montana.Slowly he sold all these franchisee outlets later on except the Canadian franchisee and earned billions of wealth but with a condition that he would remain the Brand Ambassador of KFC with a salary from those businessman who purchased his franchisee.
In his last old age days sometimes around 1965, he moved to Mississauga,Ontario to look after the Canadian franchises.His income generated from appearance fees and from franchisee fees.He purchased a bunglow in the year 1965 at 1337 Melton Drive in the Lake view area of Mississauga and lived there untill 1980.
Harland David Sanders and Claudia got baptized in the river Jordan in the year 1970.They felt closer to God and led a spiritual life than.They were in close contact with spiritual Leaders like Rev.Billy Graham and Rev.Jerry Falwell.
The next ten years Sanders remained busy with TV commercials, advertisement and public appearances.He remained the company’s symbol as a Brand Ambassador of KFC.He kept travelling all over the world almost 2 lac Km per year promoting KFC.
Sanders developed a vision of helping the needy and thus he founded a charitable trust in the name of Colonel Harland Sanders Trust and Colonel Harland Sanders Charitable Organization.These organisations extensively helped in funding scholars and charities specially in women’s and Children’s care. Trillium health care Centre is one of the charitable organization which used to receive fund from Colonel Harland Sanders Trust.
In the year 1980 June ,Colonel Sanders was diagnosed with acute Leukemia. He died at a Jewish hospital Louisville,Kentucky on 16th December 1980.He was 90 years old by than. A big funeral service was conducted at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminar which was attended by more than 1000 people.He is remembered as one of the legends of fast food marketing of the world.Sander was buried in his traditional white suite and black western string tie in Cave Hill Cemetery at Louisville.A legendary personality, a fighter with a BIG DREAM who failed in so many odd jobs till the age of 60 years. His failures can be listed too many but today world remember him as the one who can make us lick our finger with his magic Fried Chicken.There were more than 6000 KFC outlets by the time of his death.By December 2013, KFC outlets can be estimated to a enormous strength of more than 18800 outlets in 118 countries.