Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Ray Arthur Kroc (5 October 1902–14 January 1984) was founder of the McDonald's Corporation. Dubbed the Hamburger King, Kroc was included in the TIME 100 list of the world's most influential builders and titans of industry and amassed a $500 million fortune during his lifetime. Kroc was of Czech ancestry and was survived by his third wife, Joan B. Kroc.
Kroc did not set out to sell hamburgers when he started McDonald's Corporation in 1954 with a restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois. In the early 1950s, Kroc was a milkshake machine salesman traveling across the country peddling his kitchen gadget. He found out two brothers, Dick and Maurice "Mac" McDonald, were using eight of his machines at their San Bernardino, California diner. Hoping to capitalize on the brothers' success with their milkshakes, Kroc acquired franchising rights to open a McDonald's restaurant of his own. Not only did the milkshakes become as popular in Illinois as California, but the hamburgers and french fries were a hit, too. In 1961, Kroc bought out the McDonald brothers for US $2.7 million and opened restaurants around the world. In 1977, he wrote his autobiography, "Grinding It Out".
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