Samuel Truett Cathy (Samuel Truett Cathy)

Samuel Truett Cathy

Businessman. He was the founder of the nationally franchised “Chick-fil-A” fast food restaurant. He began the chain in the Atlanta, Georgia 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 and had three children: Trudy, Don (“Bubba”), and Dan. 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. Due to his strong religious beliefs, all of the company’s locations, whether company-owned or franchised, are closed on Sundays to allow its employees to attend church and spend time with their families. This policy began when Cathy was working six days a week, multiple shifts. He decided to close on Sundays. 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. In April 2008, he opened a new restaurant, Upscale Pizza, in Fayetteville, Georgia. Cathy dedicated his time and resources to many philanthropic causes, focusing on those related to the welfare of needy children. He reportedly welcomed homeless children into his home and taught in Sunday school sessions. 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. 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. 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. 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. President George W. Bush bestowed the President’s Call to Service Award on Cathy in 2008. He 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. (bio by: John Baumer)  Family links:  Parents:  Joseph Benjamin Cathy (1874 – 1960)  Lilla James Kimbell Cathy (1881 – 1945)  Spouse:  Jeannette McNeil Cathy (1922 – 2015)*  Siblings:  Esther Lois Cathy (1902 – 1984)*  Myrtle Jewel Cathy Linch (1904 – 1989)*  Agnes Ruth Cathy Edwards (1905 – 1989)*  Horace Jackson Cathy (1908 – 1949)*  James Gideon Cathy (1912 – 1918)*  Gladys Cathy Garr (1915 – 2014)*  Samuel Truett Cathy (1921 – 2014)  James Ben Cathy (1923 – 1949)* *Calculated relationship Inscription:”A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches…” Proverbs 22:1


  • March, 14, 1921
  • USA


  • September, 09, 2014
  • USA


  • Greenwood Cemetery
  • Georgia
  • USA

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