True Originals — The Colonel and KFC®

He was a sixth-grade dropout, an army mule-tender, a locomotive fireman, an insurance salesman and a political candidate. And that was before he became the world’s most famous cook after reaching “retirement age.” Colonel Harland Sanders was many things. He is a great success story. Enjoy these stories about the Colonel.

Our story begins in 1930

Harland Sanders was operating a service station in Corbin, Kentucky. He began cooking for hungry travellers who stopped in for gas. Pretty soon, they were filling up more than their tanks.

The Original Kitchen

It was here that Colonel Sanders perfected his secret blend of 11 herbs and spices and the basic cooking technique that made both the Colonel and Kentucky Fried Chicken® famous.

The Secret Famous Worldwide

For years, Colonel Sanders carried the secret formula for his Kentucky Fried Chicken® in his head and the spice mixture in his car. Today, the recipe is locked away in a safe in Louisville, Kentucky.

I'm Not a Legend

The Colonel came from humble origins. In spite of all his accomplishments, he remained a humble man. But that’s not why he considered himself a legend...

"The Colonel Has Just Shown Up"

When it came to promoting the great taste of KFC®, the Colonel was tireless. He might have just shown up anywhere to do what he loved best.

1957: The First Bucket

Say “bucket of chicken” and you think KFC®. The famous paper bucket that KFC® uses for its larger-sized orders of chicken has come to be recognized worldwide. Its fame spread even faster as KFC® locations adopted the iconic rotating bucket sign.

The World Loves The Colonel

The Colonel travelled 400,000 km a year visiting KFC® restaurants and delighting customers around the world.

Brilliant Under Pressure

The Colonel went to a demonstration of a "new-fangled gizmo” — the pressure cooker. Eureka! The Colonel had found a way to fry chicken quickly and make it the best chicken he'd ever tasted. The irresistible taste we've come to know as Kentucky Fried Chicken was born, and even today, every KFC® cooker fries under pressure, just as the Colonel did it!

Colonel Confidential

Only a handful of people know the multi-million dollar formula and it’s protected by some pretty elaborate security precautions. Example: One spice company blends part of the formula while another blends the rest, to ensure neither ever has the complete recipe! That’s top secret!

The Unstoppable Colonel Sanders

In 1955, after reaching retirement age, Colonel Harland Sanders devoted himself to franchising his Kentucky Fried Chicken® throughout North America. Less than ten years later, he had more than 600 KFC® restaurants in the U.S. and Canada.

Integrity in What You Do

Just as the Colonel had a world-famous recipe for his Kentucky Fried Chicken®, he had a recipe for success, too. The essential ingredient was never a secret: Integrity.

Yes, He Really Was A Colonel

In 1936, Kentucky Governor Ruby Laffoon made Harland Sanders an honourary Kentucky Colonel in recognition of his contributions to the state's cuisine.

Colonel Sanders' Original Dining Room

Sanders Court and Café as it appeared in the 1930s. Today, more than 12 million customers in 109 countries and territories around the world satisfy their craving for the irresistible flavour of KFC® every day!

"I Will Never Pass Anybody Up"

On the long road to success, Colonel Sanders never forgot the lessons he learned as a young man.

The Colonel Never Retired!

In 1965, at age 75, he was just getting started! He sold his interest in the company for $2 million (equal to $14,161,464 today!) and KFC® continued to grow rapidly and globally with Colonel Sanders as its beloved spokesperson.

Celebrity Status

In 1976, an independent survey ranked the Colonel as the world's second most recognizable celebrity!

KFC® - So Good