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Life Insurance of the Rich & Famous Part 3

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Life Insurance of the Rich & Famous Part 3

Ray Kroc came from humble beginnings. Born in Chicago in 1902, he worked tirelessly to build the world’s largest restaurant chain. He was helped through tough times by his life insurance policy.

In 1954, at the age of 52, as a milkshake equipment salesman, Ray took notice of a hamburger stand in San Bernardino, California.  Kroc saw the two legendary golden arches and witnessed lines of people waiting for the restaurant’s simple fare of burgers, fries and milkshakes.

Ray dreamed of owning a restaurant system that would be famous for food of consistently high quality and uniform methods of preparation. He wanted to serve burgers, buns, fries and beverages that tasted just the same in Alaska as they did in Alabama.

Ray managed to  convince the McDonald’s Brothers to sell the McDonald’s name to him and he worked a deal to pay for it with a percentage of his profits. Little did anyone know, that McDonald’s was on its way to becoming a household name.

After finalizing the deal with the McDonald’s brothers, Ray wrote a letter to Walt Disney, who he had met a few years earlier as Ambulance driver trainees, in South Beach, CT.   Ray told Disney that he had recently taken over the McDonald’s franchises and wanted to make an arrangement for his restaurant to be in the Disney development.

Disney agreed under the stipulation that Ray increase the price of his French fries from 10 cents to 15 cents so Disney could increase his profits. Ray refused the offer and said that he would not gouge his customers with unreasonable pricing.

In 1955, Ray opened his first  McDonald’s drive in restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois. While things inside the restaurant ran smoothly, Ray faced massive challenges with cash flow, franchises, competition and the economy.  He was determined to be successful and dreamed of his restaurant chain becoming a national sensation. Ray worked day and night to build his company.

In order to build the largest fast food chain in the world and overcome constant cash flow problems, Ray took out loans on two cash value policies to get his infant company off the ground. He used some of the money to create an enduring advertising campaign that centered on the company’s mascot, Ronald McDonald.

By 1958, McDonald’s had sold it’s 100 millionth hamburger.

Ray Kroc passed away in 1984 just a few months before McDonald’s sold its 50 billionth hamburger. At the time of his death there were 7,500 restaurants worldwide.

Today, with more than 25,000 restaurants worldwide, McDonald’s is the largest fast-food retailer with operations in more than 65 countries and the phenomenon was financed with loans from Ray’s life insurance policies.

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