|Date of Birth||2 July 1932, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA|
|Date of Death||8 January 2002, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA (liver cancer)|
|Birth Name||Rex 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Lorraine Buskirk||(21 May 1954 - 8 January 2002) (his death) (5 children)|