Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald's Corporation, was born in 1902 in Oak Park, IL.
After several years in several occupations, Kroc was selling milkshake machines and noticed a pair of brothers that were having some success in the "quick service" hamburger business in San Bernardino. They were running eight of Kroc's machines trying to keep up with business.
Kroc saw an opportunity to sell more machines if the brothers, Dick and Maurice "Mac" McDonald, would open more stores. Kroc offered to run the stores and a partnership named the McDonald's Corporation was formed in 1954.
The following year, Kroc bought them out for $2.7 million and opened his first restaurant in Des Plaines, IL.
Kroc's priciples laid down in his "Hamburger University" such as the company motto of "Quality, Service, Cleanliness and Value". Idleness in employees was not tolerated: "If you have time to lean, you have time to clean."
Today there are over 24,500 stores worldwide.