Dave Thomas (Businessman) – Bio, Wife, Children and Net Worth: All You Need To Know

There are many people who have carved their names in the annals of history and Dave Thomas happens to be one of them. The American business magnate isn’t just a successful businessman; he is also among the best CEO’s the world has ever known.  Although he is no more, Dave’s legacy has continued to live through his businesses. Amazingly, he was the founder and owner of the famous fast-food chain business called Wendy’s Restaurants. Before his death, the business guru had over 6,000 Wendy’s restaurant operating both in America and beyond. In addition, Dave was also a philanthropist and he established several foundations that champion different charitable causes. Read on, as we take you through his bio and all you need to know about the successful businessman below.

Dave Thomas Bio: All You Need To Know

Dave Rex Thomas came into this world on the 2nd day of July 1932 and was born in Atlantic City of New Jersey, United States. Soon after his birth, he was given up for adoption by his mother whom he never knew. Amazingly, Auleva and her husband Rex Thomas adopted him when he was six weeks old. He lost his adoptive mother when he was five years old and was raised by his grandmother, Minnie Sinclair. While he was growing, life was so hard for Thomas at the time. He spent his childhood days near Kalamazoo, Michigan and also did different kinds of jobs in order to earn a living.

When he was fifteen years old, Dave dropped out of high school after he started working at Hobby House Restaurant in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Subsequently, he considered his dropping out of school his greatest mistake in life; Dave however later got his General Education Development Certificate in 1993. In a bid to enlighten others not to trail the same path as he did, He also later started a foundation which offers GED classes for young adults and it’s called Dave Thomas Education Centre.

He served in the Army for three years from 1950 to 1953. While he was there, he was a chef responsible for feeding over two thousand soldiers at the time.

Business Career

Soon after his military service ended in 1953, Dave returned to Fort Wayne where he got a job as the head cook at the Hobby House Restaurant. Later on, the Kentucky Fried Chicken owner Col. Harland Sanders sold KFC franchise to them. As a result of that, Dave embarked on several projects with Sanders and helped him improve the quality of his products. After a few years, he was sent to help revive four KFC stores that were at the verge of closing. The talented chef succeeded in his quest and by 1968, he helped increase sales in the four Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants. He also served as the regional manager for Kentucky until 1969.

After his stint with Kentucky, Dave founded Wendy’s Restaurant in November 1969 and the first store was opened in Columbus, Ohio. The restaurant specializes in hamburgers and has been running over five decades and counting. So far, Dave has sold over six thousand Wendy’s Hamburger Restaurant franchises in the United States. Also, he appeared in over eight hundred adverts for Wendy’s when he was alive. His work has greatly paid off and Wendy’s Hamburger restaurant is among the top restaurants in the US and beyond.

Net Worth: How Much was He Worth?

Despite having a rough beginning, Dave Thomas rose beyond his predicaments and became incredibly successful in his business ventures. He established thousands of Wendy’s Restaurants in the United States. At the time of his passing, Dave was an extremely wealthy man. He earned a fortune from his businesses and his net worth was pegged at $100 million. He made his wealth from his fast-food chain business and other endeavors.

Also Read: Butch Hartman Bio, Net Worth, Controversy and All You Need To Know

Dave Thomas’ Wife and Children

dave thomas
Dave Thomas’s wife Lorraine

The business magnate had a peaceful and interesting life while he was alive. He was a happily married man and a proud father of five children. He got hitched to his sweetheart and love of his life named Lorraine Thomas. The pair met each other several years ago and after a successful relationship, they tied the knot in 1955. After their marriage, they had five adorable children, four daughters – Melinda, Molly, Pam, and Lori, as well as a son named Kenny Thomas. Sadly, his son Kenny kicked the bucket in 2013. The amazing couple was married for forty-seven years before Dave’s sudden demise in 2002.

Just like Dave, all his children are equally successful in life. They are actively involved in their father’s businesses and currently own multiple locations of Wendy’s Restaurant in the US. In honor of his daughters, Dave started Sisters Chicken and Biscuits in 1978 ’s. Amazingly, his four daughters have been doing their best in keeping their father’s legacy alive through his business.


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