Harland David Sanders, better known as Colonel Sanders (September 9, 1890 – December 16, 1980) was an American entrepreneur who founded Kentucky Fried Chicken. His image remains iconic in KFC promotions, and a foundation he established in his later years aids charities and funds scholarships with over a million dollars in grants a year.
Sanders was born to a Presbyterian family in Henryville, Indiana. His father, Wilbur David Sanders, died when Harland was six years old, and, since his mother worked, he was required to cook for his family. He dropped out of school in seventh grade. When his mother remarried, he ran away from home because his stepfather beat him. Sanders falsified his date of birth and enlisted in the United States Army at the age of sixteen, completing his entire service commitment in Cuba. During his early years, Sanders held many jobs, including: steamboat pilot, insurance salesman, railroad fireman and farmer. He had a son, Harland, Jr., who died at an early age, and two daughters, Margaret Sanders and Mildred Sanders Ruggles.
At the age of 40, Sanders cooked chicken dishes and other meals for people who stopped at his service station in Corbin, Kentucky. Since...