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Ray Kroc

Many consider Ray Arthur Kroc (1902-1984) to be the founder of McDonald's Corporation. This is not true. The restaurant chain was actually started by brothers Dick and Mac McDonald, 15 years before Kroc.

That, however, is not the point. Even though the brothers established the principles of the fast-food restaurant, Kroc is the one who recognised its potential, buying them out in 1961 for a mere $2.7 million.

From ambulance driver to Hamburger King, Kroc dabbled in all kinds of trades. He happened to meet the McDonald brothers while working as a milkshake machine salesman.

He also tried, unsuccessfully, to convince another ambulance driver called Walt Disney to let him open a restaurant in the latter's new venture, Disneyland.

When Time magazine released its list of the world's most influential titans of industry, Kroc was prominently featured. He had, during his lifetime, amassed a fortune worth $500 million.

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