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Sat Nov 26, 2022, 07:41 AM

John Y. Brown Jr., KFC Mogul and Kentucky Governor, Dies at 88

Source: New York Times

John Y. Brown Jr., KFC Mogul and Kentucky Governor, Dies at 88

Though his political career was brief, after storming to victory with a former Miss America by his side, he made millions by buying the fried chicken chain.

By Sam Roberts
Nov. 25, 2022

John Y. Brown Jr., a born salesman who became a multimillionaire by transforming Kentucky Fried Chicken into a global brand and then sold himself to voters in a six-week TV blitz to become Kentucky’s governor, serving one term, died on Tuesday in Lexington, Ky. He was 88.

His family said the death, in a hospital, was caused by complications of Covid-19.

Mr. Brown, a 30-year-old lawyer at the time, and a fellow investor bought Kentucky Fried Chicken from its founder, Harlan Sanders, for $2 million in 1964 (about $19.3 million today). Over the next seven years he transformed a national string of about 600 restaurants into one of the world’s largest fast-food chains, with some 3,000 red-and-white-striped takeout outlets.

He sold the business in 1971 to Heublein Inc., the distiller, for a personal profit estimated at more than $30 million (about $225 million today).

A prodigious Democratic fund-raiser, Mr. Brown, a son of a former Kentucky congressman and state legislator, initially flirted with a political career, considering a run for the United States Senate before deciding against it at the last minute and then gauging a bid for governor in 1975 before again declining to join the race.

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Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/25/us/john-y-brown-jr-dead.html

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