S. Truett Cathy

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S. Truett Cathy
Truett Cathy.jpg
Cathy on August 28, 2004
BornSamuel Truett Cathy
(1921-03-14)March 14, 1921
Eatonton, Georgia, U.S.
DiedSeptember 8, 2014(2014-09-08) (aged 93)
Clayton County, Georgia, U.S.
NationalityAmerican
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materHenry W. Grady High School
Known forFounder and former chairman of Chick-fil-A
Net worthIncrease $4.2 billion (2012)[1]
ReligionSouthern Baptist
Spouse(s)Jeannette (McNeil) Cathy[2] (m. 1948; wid. 2014)
ChildrenTrudy
Don
Dan
Website
www.truettcathy.com
 
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S. Truett Cathy
Truett Cathy.jpg
Cathy on August 28, 2004
BornSamuel Truett Cathy
(1921-03-14)March 14, 1921
Eatonton, Georgia, U.S.
DiedSeptember 8, 2014(2014-09-08) (aged 93)
Clayton County, Georgia, U.S.
NationalityAmerican
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materHenry W. Grady High School
Known forFounder and former chairman of Chick-fil-A
Net worthIncrease $4.2 billion (2012)[1]
ReligionSouthern Baptist
Spouse(s)Jeannette (McNeil) Cathy[2] (m. 1948; wid. 2014)
ChildrenTrudy
Don
Dan
Website
www.truettcathy.com

Samuel Truett Cathy (March 14, 1921 – September 8, 2014), better known as S. Truett Cathy, was the American founder and longtime chairman (until 2013) of Chick-fil-A.

Early life[edit]

Cathy was born Samuel Truett Cathy in Eatonton, Georgia on March 14, 1921. He attended Boys High School (now Henry W. Grady High School) in Atlanta. Cathy served in the United States Army during World War II. Cathy began the chain in the Atlanta suburb of Hapeville in 1946 with a restaurant called the Dwarf Grill, named because of its small size. It was there that he, along with his brother and business partner Ben, created the chicken sandwich that later became the signature menu item for Chick-fil-A. The original restaurant (since renamed Dwarf House) is still in operation and the company operates other Dwarf House locations in the metro Atlanta area. He married Jeanette McNeil in 1948; the couple had three children: Trudy, Don and Dan.[3]

Career[edit]

Cathy was a member of the First Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Georgia, and taught Sunday School there for more than 50 years. He said that the Bible is his guide-book for life.[4] Due to his strong religious beliefs, all of the Chick-fil-A's locations are closed on Sundays to allow its employees to attend church and spend time with their families.[5] This policy began when Cathy was working six days a week, multiple shifts. He decided to close on Sundays.[4]

Cathy wrote five books: the autobiography Eat Mor Chikin: Inspire More People, a motivational book entitled It's Easier to Succeed Than to Fail, the parenting book It's Better to Build Boys Than Mend Men, an explanation of his business success in How Did You Do It, Truett?, and a final book on the significance of money in today's society titled Wealth, Is It Worth It?. He also contributed to the anthology Conversations on Success and co-wrote with Ken Blanchard Generosity Factor: Discover the Joy of Giving Your Time, Talent, and Treasure. A portion of Jonesboro and McDonough Roads in Henry, and Clayton counties, respectively, are named in his honor. Cathy said that the motivational book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill was one of the greatest foundations for inspiration growing up.[6]

In April 2008, he opened a new restaurant, Upscale Pizza, in Fayetteville, Georgia.[7] The menu features pizza, hot dogs, sandwiches and milkshakes.

In November 2013, he retired as both chairman and CEO of Chick-fil-A, leaving his son, Dan Cathy, to assume the roles.[8]

Philanthropy and political contributions[edit]

Cathy dedicated his time and resources to many philanthropic causes, focusing on those related to the welfare of needy children. Cathy was closely involved with the sponsorship of the college football bowl game now known as the Chick-fil-A Bowl, but from 1997-2005 known as the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, and prior to that simply as the Peach Bowl. On October 28, 2006, Cathy received the last vehicle off the assembly line of Ford's Atlanta plant, in recognition of a 60-year relationship between him and the plant. The plant, located near Cathy's original Dwarf Grill (now Dwarf House), opened one year after the restaurant opened, and Truett regularly served during all three shifts at the plant.[citation needed]

Summer camp for girls at Berry College

Cathy had a Leadership Scholarship program for Chick-fil-A restaurant employees, which has awarded more than $23 million in $1,000 scholarships in the past 35 years.[9]

In 1984, Cathy established the WinShape Foundation, named for its mission to shape winners. WinShape Foundation consists of WinShape Homes, WinShape RetreatSM, WinShape MarriageSM, WinShape Camps, WinShape, College Program, WinShape Wilderness and WinShape International. In 2010, the foundation provided roughly $18 million to fund the development of foster homes and summer camp. Past donations from the WinShape Foundation include the funding of several college scholarships and marriage counseling programs. The foundation has awarded nearly 820 students of Berry College with scholarships of up to $32,000.[9][10]

He fostered children for over 30 years, and took in nearly 200 foster children through WinShape Homes. WinShape Homes is a long-term foster care program that includes 11 foster homes in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee.[9][10]

In 2008, Cathy's WinShape Foundation won the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic leadership which awarded it $250,000 towards future philanthropy, as a result of its contributions to society. The prize was created to further ideals such as personal responsibility, resourcefulness, volunteerism, scholarship, individual freedom, faith in God, and helping people who help themselves. It honors living philanthropists who have shown exemplary leadership through their charitable giving, highlights the power of philanthropy to achieve positive change and seeks to inspire others to support charities that achieve genuine results.[9][10]

In recognition of his philanthropic efforts through WinShape, Cathy received the Children's Champion Award for Family and Community from the charitable organization Children's Hunger Fund in 2011.[11]

Since 2003, WinShape has donated over $5 million to anti-gay groups including the Marriage & Family Foundation, Exodus International, and the Family Research Council which strongly oppose same sex marriage and other initiatives supported by the LGBT community. [12][13][14][15]


Honors and memberships[edit]

President George W. Bush stands with Truett Cathy after he received the Lifetime President's Volunteer Service Award at the White House

Cathy received numerous honors, including membership in Omicron Delta Kappa (OΔK), the National Leadership Honor Society. He received OΔK's highest award, the Laurel Crowned Circle Award in 2009. He also received the Norman Vincent and Ruth Stafford Peale Humanitarian Award, the Horatio Alger Award, the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership and the Boy Scouts of America Silver Buffalo Award. Cathy was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 2003.[16][17]

He was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Pi Fraternities.[18]

In 2007, Forbes magazine ranked Cathy as the 380th richest man in America and the 799th richest man in the world, with an estimated net worth of $1.2 billion.[19][20]

President George W. Bush bestowed the President's Call to Service Award on Cathy in 2008.[21]

Cathy was inducted into the Indiana Wesleyan University Society of World Changers on April 3, 2011. In addition to being inducted into the Society, the university also conferred upon Cathy an honorary doctorate of business. In May 2012, Cathy received an honorary doctorate along with presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the Liberty University's spring commencement ceremony. In his remarks, Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee at the time, said, "The Romney campaign comes to a sudden stop when we spot a Chick-fil-A. Your chicken sandwiches were our comfort food through the primary season, and heaven knows there were days that we needed a lot of comfort." Romney congratulated Cathy on his "well-deserved honor today".[22]

Death[edit]

S. Truett Cathy died of natural causes at the age of 93 on September 8, 2014. A public funeral service was held on September 10 at First Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Georgia. The funeral was attended by approximately 4000 people.[23][24][25][26][27]

Publications[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The World's Billionaires (2012): #960 S. Truett Cathy". Forbes. September 1, 2012. 
  2. ^ Wolfe, Julie (September 8, 2014). "Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy dies at 93". WXIA. Retrieved September 8, 2014. 
  3. ^ The Cathy Family. "Cathy Family website". Retrieved September 8, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Cathy, S. Truett, It's Easier To Succeed Than Fail, Oliver-Nelson Books (1989); ISBN 0-8407-9030-9.
  5. ^ "Chick-fil-A's Closed-on-Sunday Policy" (PDF). Retrieved December 2, 2011. 
  6. ^ Cathy, S. Truett Eat Mor Chikin: Inspire More People, 2002. Looking Glass Books; ISBN 1-929619-08-1.
  7. ^ Guy Collier, Joe (April 25, 2008). "Chick-fil-A founder opens pizza restaurant". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on Feburary 4, 2009. Retrieved December 2, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Chick-Fil-A Founder Retiring As CEO, Chairman". CBS Atlanta. Associated Press. November 7, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c d "2008 Simon Prize Recipient". Philanthropy Roundtable. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved December 21, 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c "Samuel Truett Cathy Philanthropy". Retrieved September 8, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Relive the Night". Childrenshungerfund.org. April 16, 2011. Retrieved December 2, 2011. 
  12. ^ Winters, Rosemary (November 10, 2011). "Sugar House protesters say Chick-fil-A is anti-gay". The Salt Lake Tribune. 
  13. ^ Michelson, Noah (November 1, 2011). "Chick-Fil-A Fast Food Chain Donated Nearly $2 Million To Anti-Gay Groups In 2009". The Huffington Post. 
  14. ^ Edwards, Jim (July 5, 2012). "Here's How Much Money Chick-fil-A Gives To Groups". Business Insider. 
  15. ^ Wong, Curtis (July 2, 2012). "Chick-Fil-A's Anti-Gay Donations Totaled Nearly $2 Million In 2010: Report". The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 5, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Chick-fil-A Founder to Receive Award for Service to Youth". The Weekly Online!. May 25, 2007. Archived from the original on March 14, 2012. Retrieved December 2, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Silver Buffalo Awards". Scouting: 37. September 2007. ISSN 0036-9500. Retrieved September 8, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Prominent Pikes". pike.org. Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. Retrieved September 8, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Forbes 400 Richest Americans (2007): #380 S Truett Cathy". Forbes. September 20, 2007. "Net worth: $1.3 billion" 
  20. ^ "The World's Billionaires (2007): #799 S Truett Cathy". Forbes. March 9, 2007. "Net worth: $4.5 billion" 
  21. ^ "S. Truett Cathy applauded by President Bush". Atlanta Business Chronicle. April 16, 2008. Retrieved July 27, 2012. 
  22. ^ O'Connor, Clare, "Romney Speaks At Anti-Gay Liberty University Alongside Baptist Billionaire", Forbes blog, May 12, 2012; retrieved September 9, 2014.
  23. ^ "Chick-Fil-A Founder S. Truett Cathy Has Died". ABC News. Retrieved September 8, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Death of S.T. Cathy". ABC News. Retrieved September 8, 2014. 
  25. ^ Staff (September 8, 2014). "S. Truett Cathy: In Memoriam". CFA Properties Inc. Retrieved September 8, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Truett Cathy obituary". The Cathy Family. Retrieved September 8, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Thousands attend funeral for Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy - www.wsbtv.com". Retrieved September 10, 2014. 

External links[edit]