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Kentucky Fried Chicken

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Colonel Harland Sanders (September 9, 1890 – December 16, 1980) was best known for founding fast food chicken restaurant chain Kentucky Fried Chicken and later acting as the company's brand ambassador and symbol. Sanders held a number of jobs in his early life, such as steam engine stoker, insurance salesman and filling station operator. He began selling fried chicken from his roadside restaurant in North Corbin, Kentucky, during the Great Depression. At age 52, Sanders recognized the potential of the restaurant franchising concept, and the first KFC franchise opened in Utah in 1952. The company's rapid expansion across the United States and overseas was overwhelming for Sanders and, in 1964, he sold the company to a group of investors led by John Y. Brown, Jr. and Jack C. Massey for $2 million ($15.4 million today)

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Signs from the late 1800s to the present can be seen at the American Sign Museum, and a Kentucky Fried Chicken sign from the 1950s is among them (above left). (Associated Press)