Skip to main content

KFC founder’s list of his failures

  • 2016-07-09 15:32:25
  • At age 5 his father died.
  • At age 7, he was reportedly skilled with bread and vegetables, and improving with meat.
  • At age 10, Harland began to work as a farmhand for local farmers Charlie Norris and Henry Monk.
  • At age 12 his mother remarried to William Broaddus; Sanders had a tumultuous relationship with his stepfather.
  • At age 13:
    • He dropped out of seventh grade;
    • He went to live and work on a nearby farm;
    • He left home by himself;
    • He then took job painting horse carriages in Indianapolis. 
  • At age 14, he moved to southern Indiana to work as a farmhand for Sam Wilson.


  • At age 16, he stared a job as a conductor.
  • At age17:
    • He falsified his date of birth and enlisted in the United States Army in October 1906, completing his service commitment as a teamster in Cuba.
    • He was honorably discharged in February 1907 and moved to Sheffield, Alabama;
    • He worked as helper in the workshops;
    • He moved to Jasper, Alabama where he got a job cleaning out the ash pans of trains from the Northern Alabama Railroad
  • At age 19, he met Josephine and they were married shortly afterwards.
  • At age 20, Sanders lost his job at Illinois after brawling with a colleague.
  • At age 26, he got a job selling life insurance for the Prudential Life Insurance Company. Then he was eventually fired for insubordination.
  • At age 30, Sanders established a ferry boat company, and then failed after Delco introduced an electric lamp that they sold on credit.
  • At age 34, he moved to Winchester, Kentucky, to work as a salesman for the Michelin Tire Company. Then he lost his job when Michelin closed their New Jersey manufacturing plant.
  • At age 40, where was working for Standard Oil of Kentucky station, the station closed as a result of the Great Depression.
  • At age 49, Sanders acquired a motel in Asheville, North Carolina. His North Corbin restaurant and motel was destroyed in a fire, and Sanders had it rebuilt as a motel with a 140-seat restaurant.
  • At age 51, As the United States entered World War II in December 1941, gas was rationed, and as the tourists dried up, Sanders was forced to close his Asheville motel.
  • At age 65 retired and had a saving only $105 a month from Social Security, and began visiting potential franchisees.




  • At age 70, he created Kentucky Fried Chicken.
  • At age 73, he sold the Kentucky Fried Chicken Corporation for $2 million.
  •  At age 76, Kentucky Fried Chicken went public in 1966 and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1969.

  • Today Kentucky Fried Chicken Corporation is the world's second largest restaurant chain after McDonald's, with almost 20,000 locations globally in 123 countries and territories. The company is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, a restaurant company that also owns the Pizza Hut and Taco Bell chains.



  • Colonel Harland David Sanders (September 9, 1890 – December 16, 1980) was an American businessman, best known for founding fast food chicken restaurant chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (now known as KFC) and later acting as the company's brand ambassador and symbol. His name and image are still symbols of the company.

Read also :  Failures quotes