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David M. Overton is the founder, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of the Cheesecake Factory, Inc., the ninth largest restaurant company in the United States measured by market capitalization.
Born in April 1946 in Detroit, Michigan, Overton attended Wayne State University and earned a bachelor's degree in Economics and History in 1967. He moved to San Francisco to attend Hastings College of Law, but in 1968 he left his law studies to become a rock-'n'-roll drummer for the Billy Roberts Blues Band. With the band, he played many of the clubs and ballrooms that were famous in San Francisco during the late 1960s. 1 In 1971 he convinced his parents to move their bakery from the city of Detroit to Los Angeles, and he joined their bakery business full time in 1975.
In 1978, David Overton opened the first Cheesecake Factory restaurant in Beverly Hills, California. His goal was to showcase a model dessert specialty restaurant for prospective foodservice customers of the wholesale bakery. The restaurant established the future chain's pattern of offering an eclectic menu, big portions, and signature cheesecakes, and the chain became a multi-million dollar sales performer. The company went public in 1992.