Fred Turner (Frederick Leo Turner)

Fred Turner

Fred Turner grew up in Des Moines and Chicago, and graduated from Drake University in 1954. Fred Turner began his career at McDonald’s in 1956 as a grill operator, and quickly rose through the ranks. He was named Operations Vice President in 1958, when the firm had only 34 employees. In that role, he established strict guidelines for how McDonald’s hamburgers and other products had to be served – including that fries “had to be precisely 0.28 inches thick”, and that “exactly ten patties had to be formed from each pound of beef”. “Quality, Service and Cleanliness” became his motto. He became Executive Vice President in 1967, then President and Chief Administrative Officer in 1968. He replaced Ray Kroc as Chairman in 1977, then was named Senior Chairman upon Kroc’s death. Under Turner, McDonald’s expanded its operations to 118 countries, with over 31,000 outlets, and more than a billion hamburgers had been sold. He retired in 2004, after which he served as Honorary Chairman. On June 22, 1954, soon after graduating college, Turner married fellow Drake graduate Patricia Shurtleff. The couple had three daughters. Patricia died on 9 October 2000. Turner also served as a director for Aon Corporation, Baxter International, and W. W. Grainger. He received the Horatio Alger Award in 1991. He was a member of the Bohemian Club, and Sigma Phi Epsilon. Fred Turner died on January 7, 2013, the day after his 80th birthday, from complications from pneumonia.


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  • January, 06, 1933
  • USA
  • Des Moines, Iowa


  • January, 07, 2013
  • USA
  • Glenview, Illinois

Cause of Death

  • pneumonia

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