Quintessential American Story of McDonalds “Founder”

For a story about modern America and the world, I highly recommend this movie, available on Netflix: “The Founder,” about Ray Kroc, a traveling salesman in the restaurant industry who built the McDonalds’ franchise into a multi-billion-dollar business. Kroc, Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump were all inspired by the can-do philosophy of the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale. Kroc regularly quoted from Peale and other inspiring speakers without attribution.

Kroc transformed the eating habits of America and the world. An unintended and unforeseen consequence was that, in the long run, he and his compatriots in the fast food industry made obesity a major national problem and one of America’s chief exports. Sixty-nine of the world’s top 100 fast-food restaurants are American.

In recent years, Subway, because it offers seemingly healthier menu, has now surpassed McDonalds in number of fast-food restaurants world-wide.

An interesting study would be to compare “The Founder” to other movie portrayals of entrepreneurs and businessmen who have transformed societies, such as Mark Zuckerberg (Founder of Facebook, and portrayed in “The Social Network”); and newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, portrayed in “Citizens Kane.”

Interestingly, Kroc’s third wife and widow, Joan Kroc, a philanthropist, was also quintessentially American, giving to good causes and raising the positive profile of her late husband despite the fact that his overall legacy was decidedly mixed.

Drill Deeper:


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