Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (12)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 2 July 1932Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA
Date of Death 8 January 2002Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA  (liver cancer)
Birth NameRex David Thomas

Mini Bio (1)

Born during the Depression to a dirt-poor single mother in Atlantic City. New Jersey, Dave Thomas was adopted as an infant by a traveling construction worker and his wife. Moving out on his own at age 15, Thomas held a succession of jobs in the food industry, starting out as a busboy and working his way up. A fateful meeting in 1956 with Col. Harland Sanders, founder of the Kentucky Fried Chicken chain, led to Thomas' investing money in one of Sanders' KFC franchises, which paid off handsomely and made him a millionaire by the time he was 35. In 1969 Thomas decided to strike out on his own and left KFC to start his own chain of fast-food restaurants, Wendy's (named after his daughter, whose name was actually Melinda but whose nickname was Wendy) Hamburgers, in Ohio. Eventually the chain grew to more than 6000 restaurants, with annual sales revenue topping $6 billion. As successful as his business career was, however, Thomas was even more famous for his appearances in the company's commercials, where he came across as just a regular guy next door who got along with everybody and was the kind of grandfather that everyone wished they'd had--which, according to many who knew and worked with him, was exactly how he was in real life. He never forgot how tough it was to be an adopted kid, and founded the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption to help both adopted children and the families who adopt them. He died of liver cancer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 2002.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: frankfob2@yahoo.com

Spouse (1)

Lorraine Buskirk (21 May 1954 - 8 January 2002) (his death) (5 children)

Trade Mark (1)

White shirt and red tie, as seen in his commercials

Trivia (12)

Founder of Wendy's. Has been featured in many TV commercials.
Is adopted.
Named the restaurant chain after his 8-year-old daughter, who was nicknamed Wendy by her siblings (her actual name was Melinda Lou).
Final resting place is in Union Cemetary in Columbus, Ohio.
In 1979, Thomas' rags-to-riches story earned him the Horatio Alger Award from the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans.
The founder of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.
Began his career as a district manager for the Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise chain. He eventually left to start Wendy's. On the death of "Colonel" Harland Sanders, Kentucky Fried Chicken's founder and a mentor of his, Dave Thomas ordered that all flags at Wendy's franchises be flown at half-staff.
His ad campaign is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the "Longest Running Television Advertising Campaign Starring a Company Founder."
Was the first to successfully use drive-up windows at his restaurants but did not invent them.
Held the honorary title of Kentucky Colonel.
Was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon national fraternity (North Carolina Gamma chapter - Duke University.)
The 'date of death' shows Jan 8 2002, but in the 'Biography' it shows 'He died of liver cancer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 2001'.

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