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Ray Kroc

Ray was an American entrepreneur.  He had been most famous for expanding the McDonald Corporation from 1955.  He did not actually find the restaurant chain himself but had bought the corporation from Dick and Mac McDonald in the year of 1940.

Ray had been born in Oak Park, Illinois.  He was the first businessman to apply principles of a mass production in an industry.  Ray was a school drop out but a master at creating everlasting brands such as McDonalds which has taught many corporations how to maintain effective and productive business.

Ray had believed that an opportunity only came once and that he took his chances as they appeared to him.  He had lied about his age around his 15th year and landed himself the job of an ambulance driver for the Red Cross, during the First World War, with Walt Disney.  He had soon finally settled down as a salesman.  He had started selling paper cups.  He eventually became a multi-mixer milkshake machine salesman who had traveled all over the country peddling his wares.

Ray Kroc had realized that one of his largest customers was a California restaurant owned by the McDonald brothers.  The salesmanship of Ray Kroc convinced the McDonald brothers to make him their exclusive agent and in 1954 Kroc had opened his own McDonald’s drive-in in Des Plaines, Illinois and later had established the McDonalds Corporation officially.  He guaranteed that the French Fries customers bought in California would taste the same as the ones purchased in New York City.  By 1960, there were over 200 McDonald’s franchises spread across the US. But low franchise fees led to minimal profits.

He had had a difficult life, and had suffered from arthritis and diabetes.  His gall bladder and thyroid gland were already surgically removed but he had the desire to succeed burnt throughout his body.  Eventually Kroc had succeeded in convincing the McDonald brothers to sell the company to him and had paid $2.7 million for it.

Kroc made two major decisions which enabled McDonalds to grow and thrive.  He began buying up land and became the landlord to eager franchisees. Kroc also introduced national advertising programs to support the rapidly growing franchise.  These two subsidiaries generated substantial profits.

Ronald McDonald made his debut in 1963 and within 6 years the clown was known to 96% of American kids. In 1965, McDonalds went public with franchises in 44 states and sales of $171 from its 710 stores.  Kroc made $3 million from the sale.

The “Big Mac” was invented in 1967 in Pittsburgh by Jim Delligatti, who was looking for ways to increase sales. In less than a year, the sandwich spread throughout the chain, becoming the chains mainstay.  In the 1970’s Kroc took the company overseas and McDonalds became a global juggernaut.

In January, 1974, Ray Kroc purchased the baseball team, the San Diego Padres.  Unfortunately for Ray, he died a few months before they won their first penant. They were the team of a true champion.

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