Dave Thomas

1932 – 2002   Businessman, Founder of Wendy’s

Born in New Jersey, Thomas spent his life in the food industry. He was a head chef of a Texas restaurant when it bought a franchise from the then-new Kentucky Fried Chicken. Thomas worked with the KFC founder, Colonel Harland Saunders, to rebrand his chain and, among other things, invented the chicken ‘bucket’. Thomas sold his shares in KFC in 1969 and used the money to open a chain of hamburger restaurants. He resigned from active management in 1982 but was called back and wound up starring in hundreds of television ads for the business; surveys showed over 90% of US residents recognized him. When Thomas died, there were over 6,000 Wendy’s operating. He founded the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

Sol. D. Bayless Lodge No 359, Fort Wayne, Indiana


“There is no one to stop you but yourself.”

“If there are things you don’t like in the world you grew up in, make your own life different.”

“I think the harder you work, the more luck you have.”