The Untold Truth Of What Happened To Dave Thomas And His Daughter

Wendy’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) are two of the major and successful fast-food chains in the world, and their existence is largely down to the entrepreneurial ventures of Dave Thomas. He founded Wendy’s and he is credited for assisting the growth of KFC. There is plenty to learn about Dave Thomas and his daughter, Wendy Thomas, and in this article, we look at what happened to both of them, as well as a look at their respective backgrounds.

Short Background On Dave Thomas And His Daughter, Wendy Thomas

Dave Thomas was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey on the 2nd of July 1932 to an unknown mother who gave him up for adoption. He was adopted by Rex and Auleva Thomas who raised him together until he was five years old when his adoptive mother, Auleva, died.

Dave Thomas began working in a restaurant at the age of 12, working at Regas Restaurant, his first job. He then worked in Hobby House Restaurant where he worked until he became an adult.

He established the first Wendy’s location on November 15, 1969, in Columbus, Ohio. The restaurant was established off the back of the experiences he got from working on the expansion of KFC alongside Col. Harland Sanders. The company has since grown to become the third-largest chain restaurant in the US, serving an average of 50 million people per month.

As for Dave Thomas’ daughter, Wendy Thomas, her real name is Melinda Lou Thomas-Morse and she was born on the 14th of September 1961. She is the fourth child born to her father and his wife, Loraine Thomas.

Wendy Thomas was born in Columbus, Ohio and she is a graduate of the University of Florida where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Consumer Behaviorism.

Dave Thomas Served In The US Army

Before Dave Thomas became the face of one of America’s biggest restaurant chains, he was a sergeant in the US Army. After turning 18, Dave volunteered himself for the US Army to serve in the Korean War. Based on his experience in the food industry, he trained at the Cook’s and Baker’s School at Fort Benning, Georgia and he was deployed to West Germany where he serviced 2000 soldiers as a mess sergeant, rising to the rank of staff sergeant before he was discharged.

He Worked Briefly With Arthur Treacher’s

While Dave Thomas is mostly known for his role in the establishment and growth of KFC and Wendy’s, he was also involved with the restaurant chain, Arthur Treacher’s. The chain never grew to the heights of the two chains, but that might be because Dave Thomas only spent a year with the chain before he left to establish Wendy’s.

READ   Mark Cuban - Family, Business Successes & Cars

Dave Appeared In More Than 800 Commercials For Wendy’s

One of the advice Dave Thomas gave to Colonel Sanders that transformed KFC into an American success story was asking the Colonel to appear in commercials for the restaurant chain, and it is one Dave Thomas took himself. Although the initial reaction to his commercials was less than stellar due to his lack of acting ability, it later proved to be a successful move and he went on to appear in 800 commercials for the chain, becoming a notable American personality in the process. Dave Thomas’ daughter, Melinda, has stepped into her father’s shoes in this role.

He dropped out of high school

Wendy’s founder did not have a traditional childhood in several ways, and one of those ways was dropping out of high school to work full-time at Hobby House Restaurant. He did, however, earn his GED in 1993. As part of his regret for dropping out of high school, he established the Dave Thomas Education Center which is geared towards offering GED classes to young adults.

He Battled With Carcinoid Neuroendocrine Tumor Until His Death

For ten years before he passed away on the 8th of January, 2002 in Florida, Dave Thomas struggled with Carcinoid Neuroendocrine tumor, which after years of struggles and medical help, eventually metastasized to his liver and caused his death. Dave Thomas was survived by his wife, Lorraine, and four children – Pam, Lori, Molly, and his daughter, the famous Melinda, who inspired the name Wendy’s.

His Daughter Couldn’t Pronounce Ls and Rs As A Child

Dave Thomas and daughter
Dave Thomas with his famous daughter, Melinda aka Wendy

Dave Thomas’ daughter, Melinda, struggled to pronounce the letters L and R as a child, and as a result, she got the nickname Wendy, which later inspired her father to name his restaurant chain after her.

She Is The Face Of The Company, Literally

Wendy might not occupy a management role in the corporate structure of Wendy’s but she is the face of the company, both as the logo and as the spokesperson. The picture for the logo was taken when she was eight years old.

Aside from being the literal face of the company, she is also its spokesperson and has followed in her father’s footsteps to appear in several commercials for the chain.

See Also: What Happened To Anthony Bourdain? The Untold Truth About How He Died

She Has Over 30 Restaurant Stores

Dave Thomas’ daughter, Melinda, or Wendy Thomas as she is more commonly known, owns or co-owns more than 30 Wendy Stores across the United States, with locations in Upper Arlington, Ohio where she resides and in Las Vegas.

Adeola Seun
Adeola Seun
Seun is a CCNA certified graduate of FUTA. He has been writing on various subjects that include finance, economics, celebrity net worth, lifestyle, biographies and politics for over 7 years, Other than writing, he enjoys movies, video games, and sports


Tfue Net Worth – How Much Money Does The Fortnite Player Make?

Twitch users, Fortnite, and eSports fans will be familiar with Turner Ellis Tenney. Better known as Tfue online, his work on the streaming platform...

Rod Stewart Net Worth – How Much Money The ‘Forever Young’ Singer Makes

Rod Stewart may be one of the greatest rock and roll singers of all time but it wasn’t easy achieving that status. As a...

Coffee Meets Bagel Net Worth and Valuation Since Appearing on Shark Tank

Our TV screens are riddled with numerous reality shows promising one thing or the other. Many have come to doubt the veracity of these...

Truth About Lil Boosie’s Net Worth and Accomplishments, Kids And Death Rumor

i Lil Boosie, now Boosie Badazz is an American rapper and actor. The gangster rapper was once worth $4 million but after he was sentenced to...

Erin Everly – Inside The Life of Axl Rose’s Former Wife

If you are familiar with the popular rock star and the lead singer of the hard metal rock band known as Guns N’Roses, then...

A Reveal of Greta Thunberg’s Net Worth and How The Activist Gets Money

Greta Thunberg is a young activist who has defied all odds to make her voice heard across the globe with her awareness about the...

Bob Dylan Net Worth – How Much Money Does The ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ Singer Make?

Not many songwriters can say they have won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Indeed, not many singers can say they have sold nine-figures worth...

Untold Truth Of About Axl Rose Of Guns N’ Roses

Axl Rose is an American singer-songwriter and musician. He is best known as the lead singer of the highly successful rock band Guns N'...

What Is Bruce Willis Net Worth and Who Are His Family Members?

Bruce Willis is a well known Hollywood action movie star. With over 3 decades and counting in the industry, the Die Hard star has shown...

Bill O’Reilly Personal Life and Career, Net Worth, and Why He Divorced His Wife

Bill O'Reilly is an American political commentator, journalist, television host, syndicated columnist, and bestselling author. He is best known for his eponymous Fox News...

Details of Gwen Stefani’s Husband (Blake Shelton), Kids and How She Achieved Her Net Worth

Award-winning singer and songwriter Gwen Stefani who first gained popularity in the 1990s as the lead singer of "No Doubt" went on to have...

Lil Baby Net Worth 2020 – How Much Money the “Drip Too Hard” Rapper Makes

Ever since he broke into the music scene in 2017, rapper, Lil Baby has enjoyed a type of meteoric rise that most musicians can...

Featured Today

Get To Know Santtu Seppälä (Sarah Rafferty’s Husband) With These 6 Facts

Santtu Seppälä is the husband of the famous stage and TV actress Sarah Rafferty who is also noted for being a former colleague and...

Is Jamie Clayton Transgender? What Was She Like As A Boy?

Fame they say doesn’t come by age; Jamie Clayton is a clear proof to that fact. The American actress garnered fame in her thirties...

Who Is Sandra Otterson? Her Personal Wealth, Life and Quick Facts

American adult star, Sandra Otterson, currently based in Arizona, USA has is worth about $5 million. Background and Career Sandra Otterson, popular with the name ‘Wifey‘...

The Real Reason Brendan Fraser Divorced His Wife – Afton Smith

Every love affair has a happy beginning but that is not often the case at the end. So, it is hardly any news that...

Related Stories