Chick-fil-A, Inc., Founder S. Truett Cathy died Sept. 8, 2014, at age 93. Cathy started the business in 1946, when he and his brother, Ben, opened an Atlanta diner known as The Dwarf Grill (later renamed The Dwarf House®). Through the years, that restaurant prospered and led Cathy to further the success of his business. In 1967, Cathy founded and opened the first Chick-fil-A restaurant in Atlanta’s Greenbriar Shopping Center. Today, Chick-fil-A has the highest same-store sales and is the largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain in the United States based on annual system-wide sales.
Cathy was the author of six books and was a committed philanthropist dedicated to making a difference in the lives of youth. He was the recipient of countless awards over the years, both for his business acumen and for his charity. With his wife of 65 years, Jeannette McNeil Cathy, he led a life that was centered on biblical principles and family, and is survived by his sons Dan T. and Don “Bubba” Cathy; daughter Trudy Cathy White; 12 grandchildren, and 23 great-grandchildren.
A life centered on family
Family was always central to Truett Cathy’s life and would shape his unique approach to business later in life. With his wife of 65 years, Jeannette, he had three children: Trudy, Don “Bubba”, and Dan. The current generation of the Cathy family honors Truett’s legacy and continues to put his principles into action in both business and philanthropy.
Legacy of Excellence
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A deep love for customers!
Truett Cathy always maintained he wasn’t in the chicken business, but the people business. From knowing his customers by name, to forming lifelong friendships with his employees, Cathy viewed his business as more than a source of revenue for him and his family; it was a source of encouragement to others.
A heart for employees!
Truett Cathy had a special place in his heart for his employees. He believed — as we still do — that giving people the opportunities they need to succeed helps all of us prosper. Truett never went to college himself. That’s why since 1973, Chick-fil-A has given more than $35 million in college scholarships to Chick-fil-A restaurant team members wishing to pursue higher education.