Ray Kroc biography -
The Henry Ford of Food Service
The Ray Kroc biography consists of two parts: BM and AM - before McDonalds and after McDonalds. Ray Kroc was born on October 5, 1902 in
Illinois. When he was 15 years old, he told a little white lie so that he can become qualified as an Ambulance driver in the war. The war,
however, ended on the last day of his training, so he had to find some other employment.
He worked in various jobs and by 1922 he was selling paper cups. It was during these 'menial' jobs he learned the vital skill
of selling. He ended up settling for selling milk shake mixers for Prince Multimixers and this occupied the rest of his 17 years of
It was on one of his outings selling milkshake mixers in San Bernardino that he came across McDonald's Famous Hamburgers. Through his
experience criss-crossing the country to sell his mixers, he saw that they had an unusual operation - especially since they wanted eight
of his mixers (of which each one could mix five milkshakes at a time). Their mass-production (they could deliver a meal in 60 seconds) of
food intrigued him and the next day he asked them if he could market their concept.
Ray Kroc opened his first McDonalds in 1955 in Des Plaines, Illinois. Though the concept caught on quickly and sold several franchises, he
ran into some financial problems that nearly bankrupted him early on. He recovered and in 1961 bought out Dick and Mac McDonald for $2.7
million. Kroc was now free to run the business as he thought best and by 1963 McDonalds had sold a billion hamburgers. Ronald McDonald
made his first appearance later that year. A study in 1965 determined that more children new who Ronald McDonald was than who the
President of the United States was.
In 1965 McDonalds went public and Ray Kroc's wealth shot up into the hundreds of millions - making the earlier deal with the McDonalds
stand out as one of the great business deals of the century. By 1967 McDonalds decided to branch out - first to Canada, then to Europe, then
to Asia and the rest of the world. McDonalds remained successful through their focus on quality, service, cleanliness and value.
His wealth, however, did not go to his head and he stayed actively involved in McDonalds until his death on January 14, 1984. After
Ray Kroc's death, McDonalds lost some of its sparkle in America, but it continues to flourish in the rest of the world. Ray Kroc is remembered
as the man that introduced the assembly line to food and leveraging it on a massive scale.
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