After years of working a variety of jobs and just getting by, Colonel Harland David Sanders found his calling late in life. In 1930, at the start of the Great Depression, he began selling fried chicken from a roadside restaurant in North Corbin, Kentucky. Money came and money went, and by the time he was 65, when other people might have been considering retirement, Sanders again needed money – so he came up with the Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise concept.With only meager savings and $105 USD a month from Social Security, Sanders took his “secret recipe” for fried chicken on the road in 1955, traveling across the country and recruiting franchisees. The idea took off, and soon more than 600 KFC locations had signed on, both in the US and Canada. In 1964, at age 73, the white-suited Sanders sold the company for $2 million USD. Sanders stayed on as company spokesman, traveling 200,000 miles (322,000 km) a year to make personal appearances and film TV commercials.

The life and times of a Kentucky colonel:

Sanders was commissioned as a Kentucky colonel in 1935 by governor Ruby Laffoon. It was the highest honor that could be bestowed on an individual by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

By July 1940, Sanders had finalized his “secret recipe,” featuring 11 herbs and spices and the use of a pressure fryer, which cooks the chicken faster than pan frying.

Don Anderson, a sign painter working for an early franchisee in Utah, coined the name Kentucky Fried Chicken in the early 1950s.