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Celebrity Interview: Ray Kroc, Founder of McDonald’s

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Golden Arches

 

Why Americans Need to Be Winners

At age 52, when most people look toward retirement, Ray Kroc began McDonald’s, a big company that has remained the # 1 restaurant chain in the world for about half a century. Via his McDonald’s franchises, it is believed that he probably made multimillionaires of more people in a shorter time than any other person in modern history. In 1974, he purchased the San Diego Padres baseball franchise. He was, and his estate continues to be, a major philanthropist via the Kroc Foundation and the Ronald McDonald Children’s Fund.

I was privileged to interview him in 1983 shortly before his death. It was the day after his release from the hospital and it was the 1st interview he had given in several years because of his failing health.

 

 

Thank you very much for letting me interview you. I realize you just got out of the hospital.

Well, seeing America as a winner again is the most important thing in the world to me. If I weren’t at the end of my road, this magazine is what I would want to do.

I wish you could get involved.

Like I said, I would but what I need to do now is get my affairs in order, take care of my family before I go.

But I am impressed with you and the positive attitude you are presenting through your Winners Magazine. You aretaking Teddy Roosevelt’s ” Man in the Arena” and making it work. Winners Magazine may be the avenue for standing and cheering for the Achiever, the Doer, the Leader, the Winner. I think you have got something that can help America be # 1 again.

How important is it for Americans to regard themselves as #1?

You know, I think that’s terribly important. In the automobile business, in any business. You’re either accomplished, you’re either #1 or you’re not. Hell, we’re #1 at McDonald’s and I couldn’t stand it if we weren’t. There’s lots of people in the fast food business and they can’t all be #1.

But I’d rather be #1 than anything else. We’re the oldest and, so, if we can’t be, there must be some reason. But we are! We do the biggest volume. We do the best job.

My interest in McDonald’s is so they don’t fall behind. So they stay ahead of competition. I’m the old-fashioned guy in competition — I’ll kill the son of a bitch.

Anything goes?

Sure. Business is business.

So you subscribe to cutthroat?

I’m only surfacing how I feel. I wouldn’t really kill them but that’s the way I feel.

The Padres, unlike McDonald’s, are not #1. Do you love baseball more than you love being #1?

I lost $2,700,000 on the Padres last year and I’m not going to lose it this year. If I do, I’m going to get rid of them.

What about your background? Have you come a long way in achieving your success as a winner or were you born into a healthy head start?

Oh no, no, no, no. I came from a poor family. You know, relatively poor. Not POOR. Not destitute. Not in the general sense. BUT they had trouble making their payments. We struggled and we were just lucky we accomplished.

Luck is a big part of success?

Yeah. Luck and perseverance. I never had a penny until I was (he pauses, reflecting) — a penny? I meant a nickel — until I was 60 years old.

What’s the worst point in your life? When were you most down and out?

When I went to Florida to sell real estate. That was in 1925.

How close did you come to giving up?

Well, I didn’t consider giving up because I was a professional piano player and I can always make a damn good living playing the piano. Vice presidents of banks couldn’t get $25 a week and I could play the piano and make $125.

So you had another profession to fall back on?

I always have that to fall back on.

Then what made your Florida experience the worst point in your life?

I was married. I had a little baby. I got married when I was 20 years old — I was about 22 then — I didn’t have any money. I made $125 a week and that was a lot of money in 1925. But you must understand the unique harshness of the Florida economy at that time. Everything was very expensive. Milk was $.40 a quart! So I had problems. But I didn’t give up.

Have you ever felt like giving up?

No.

It never occurs to you?

No. I’m impatient as hell, but, when it comes to this sort of thing, well, I exercise a lot of patience. Perseverance.

Besides perseverance, what other attributes have helped you succeed?

Ray’s First McDonald’s, Now a Museum in Des Plaines, IL
Ray’s First McDonald’s, Now a Museum in Des Plaines, IL

I have a sign in my office. It says, “To Be a Success in Business — Be Daring. Be First. Be Different.” Most important, however, is the fact I have never worked for money. I like the convenience of money, but I have never worked for it. I’ll pay my men a lot of money but I don’t want it.

If you work for money, you’re limited in what you can achieve because when you have enough money, for practical reasons, you don’t have the urge to make any more.

I work for satisfaction. A man’s work is his whole life. You know? If you don’t like the work you do, get away from it, do something else or you’re a goddam bum!

My salary as Chairman of the Board of McDonald’s — and I’m the founder of a $7 billion a year business — is only $175,000 a year. I pay an 80% tax rate on my stock dividends. 80%! I have a foundation for arthritis, diabetes, multiple sclerosis — they give away approximately four to six million dollars per year.

I do not work for money.

You say you pay your men a lot of money, yet, the Padres has lost valuable talent who didn’t think you were paying enough.

We pay our players good wages and if they demand too much, I’ll let them go.

You see, baseball has changed. It used to be a game and now the players are trying to retire in 2 or 3 years. It used to be a player would say, “Look, I had a pretty good year. I did this. I think I ought to have $3000, $5000, $8000 more. And the boss would look it over and say “yes” or “no.”

Now rookies come in and want a No Trade Contract and a big bonus. If they sign up with a new team they want a $500,000-$1 million signing bonus.

A signing bonus! For their right to play baseball! Why it’s ridiculous.

We are no longer dealing with players, we’re dealing with corporations. The player has a manager and a lawyer and you deal with them, not with him. It’s not a close relationship.

Baseball has changed. There is no loyalty between the owners and the players and the players and the owners. It’s dog eat dog. Everybody’s acting in their own selfish interests, and that’s unfortunate because you can’t have a good business with that kind of basis.

Regarding competition, you said you’d “kill the son of a bitch.” Don’t you subscribe to “dog eat dog”?

No, no, I don’t. There is a difference. I believe in one man sticking with something that he respects and honors to the point he gives it his life instead of being a whore and selling out for the largest amount.

Like Kemp of the Tigers. The Tigers are a real fine people yet an arbitrator who has no experience in baseball awards a $600,000 contract. So if he has a good year now, what will they give him next year? $800,000 or $1 million?!

What about the players’ attitude that they’ve only got 10 years to earn big money, so, therefore, they should go for broke since they may not get the chance to earn that kind of money after they leave baseball?

That’s a lot of crap. The players are all college educated and not a damn one of them — barely any of them — do any work in the off-season. They’ve got 10 years to appreciate investments in the bond market or whatever they want to stick with. That way, there’d be something for them when they’re through with baseball.

But they don’t! They don’t do a damn thing and then when they’re through playing they wonder why nobody will give them a job.

You’ve got to learn the business. If they want to be a baker or whatever, they have to apprentice in it and they should do so while they’re being paid a lot of money and have the free time. But they don’t provide for anything and that 10 years is their responsibility.

What would you say to an athlete that says, “Why shouldn’t I ask for more money? Look at all the money Ray Kroc makes?”

You’re probably talking about a youngster, 20 years old, maybe 23… (pause while he computes) Hell, there 60 years difference in our ages!

Man alive! If you’re halfway to my point in life, I’ll reason with you. But not when you’re only 20 years old.

Okay, Ray, one last question: you’re a man successful in a couple of fields. What would we say your Art is? Making an excellent hamburger, or building an efficient, quality oriented business, or –

Providing other people with goals that are satisfying.

Helping other people to achieve those goals?

If they gloat over money, I won’t help them at all. But if they use money to good intentions, to help other people, to provide opportunities for young people, I’ll help them.

That’s what I do: I help other fellows to become millionaires.

Ray died shortly after this interview. However, had he lived to see the Padres play their 1984 season he would not have sold them. That year the players played every game wearing a black armband in honor of their fallen leader. They won the National League Championship by beating the Chicago Cubs 3 to 2 in the playoff series. It was the Padres 1st championship ever.

I was there for the game at the defining moment that “killed” the Chicago Cubs and brought the championship home to San Diego. At that point in time it was the most devastating loss the Cubs had ever suffered.

Steve Garvey was at bat. The Padres were down by 1 run. If the Cubs win, they are the champions. It was classic “Casey at the Bat”. Bottom of the 9th, 2 runners on, the count was full at 3 and 2. Jerry Coleman was the announcer calling the game: “The pitch on the way to Garvey. Hit high to right-center field! Way back! Going! Going! It is gone! The Padres win it…In a game that absolutely defies description, Steve Garvey, in the ninth inning, hit one over the 370-mark, and the Padres beat the Cubs 7-5! Oh, doctor, you can hang a star on that baby!”

The Padres came back from a season in which they lost $2,700,000 to become the National League Champions. And they did it against the odds. They became #1.

Ray Kroc would have been proud.



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103 Comments - (Leave a comment! »)

  • Mike said:

    While sometimes the question answer format for a story is used by a lazy writer, this time it made perfect sense. It allowed the reader to feel like he was eaves dropping on the conversation and allowed me to get more of a “feeling” for the subject.

  • Debbie – Ohio said:

    The writer who did the interview with Mr. Kroc did a great job humanizing him and making him a likeable person.

  • Elton – Malaysia said:

    The article provided insight and honesty of Ray Kroc which was not seen in any other document. Content wise, the interview provide thought provoking matters. For example, the fact that Kroc had owned the San Diego Padres- and that even at the end of his life he still was amiable enough to sit down and talk about his business philosophy and personal ideals.

    The feedback to the article in this magazine is so incredible, I am still spending time to read through comments, and this can be used to inspire motivation for people to read the core essence of Winners Within Us.

    The story of the Padres success after Ray’s death touched me the most, as it is never mentioned in any part of his bibliography or articles related to him.

  • Jason – Arizona said:

    I really enjoyed this interview article about Ray Kroc. I appreciated how he shared his personal and business values. It’s inspiring to know how he put his success of others before himself. In regards to article, I thought it was too long and the author should have asked more questions regarding his success with McDonalds and less on Padres.

    Great website by the way!

  • Darryl – Georgia said:

    What a moving testimony of someone who didn’t give up and started a massive operation at 52 years old. He could’ve folded and caved in and begun his retirement. But no, he started his dream of owning a baseball team as well. But it was all because he wanted to do something special for his family as well.

  • Maximilian – Washington said:

    Just to be clear, I am no fan of MacDonalds food or the effect that their megacorporation has on agribusiness, and environmental conditions of agriculture. However, after reading your interview with Ray Kroc I understand how he lead his business to being #1.

    What stood out to me above all things from the interview was his attitude. He seemed like the kind of iron will men of legend. When you asked him what made him successful it was “Luck and perseverance” when you asked him about money he said he “works for satisfaction.” This stood out to me especially because my professional experience is primarily in education. A field that is incredibly fulfilling but pays poorly. It has been my goal to teach youth about opportunities to make the world a better place while empowering them to develop, pursue and achieve their goals. It is like Ray’s comment that selfish interests do not lead to good business. It is this idea that has brought me to Winners Within Us, to promote the wellness of others and to appreciate, highlight, and publicize the amazing things that are being done in the world.

  • Paul - Virginia said:

    I thought this interview was well done, and Ray Kroc was quite an interesting man. In addition, though, it made me wonder what Kroc, a self-described “killer” businessman, would think about the state of affairs in this country today if he were still alive. I am certain that his Reagan-era optimism would look very different. By that, I am not only referring to the well-publicized problems which his legacy company is struggling with today. Even more, I am commenting, as you have on your website, about the greed and lack of ethics which so characterize our present business and political scenes. To my mind, his comments about greed and ethics in major league baseball at that time leave little doubt about what his attitudes would be today.

  • Corie - California said:

    This article really stood out the most to me. I really enjoyed how honest and real he was during your interview — he was not afraid to say exactly how he felt or what was on his mind.

  • Cantinella said:

    I just want to say I am beginner to weblog and absolutely savored your web blog. Almost certainly I’m planning to bookmark your blog . You actually come with impressive article content. Appreciate it for sharing your blog site.

  • April - Indiana said:

    One of the most interesting ways I approach life is to try and find the best part of each person and the best part of each day. That is why I enjoyed Winners Within Us so much.

    I have always felt that the life of Ray Kroc was simply another rags to riches type of story, similar in some ways to the story of Colonel Harlan Sanders and Dave Thomas. All achieved success later in life. All had a ‘down home’ background and all made millions, billions off of fast food at a time in America when everyone had taken to the highway, and two large cars were in everyone’s driveway. The interview, though, uncovered, for me, anyway, the fact that Kroc had owned the San Diego Padres- and that even at the end of his life he still was amiable enough to sit down and talk about his business philosophy and personal ideals. I found I wanted to know more about him, my curiosity was peaked and when that happens I normally find myself driving to the library or searching online through out public library’s’ catalog and putting holds on books about a certain person or subject. I enjoyed the interview, but wanted more and so you could say I had a love/hate relationship with the piece.

  • Randi - Ohio said:

    This article was so intriguing to me! As the anniversary of the opening of McDonald’s is coming up next month, this is a great article to remind readers where it all started. Ray seems like such a character, and I’m sure you had a great time interviewing him!

    I liked the wrap up about the Padres at the end of the article. It brings closure to the conversation about how he was feeling about the team and a sport as a whole. It’s also interesting that he seemed to spend more time talking about baseball than about his company.

  • Nakia – Georgia said:

    I love how the magazine gives recognition to individuals.

    This was perhaps one of my favorites in the magazine. It was a fun read and a lot of what he believes in I try to live by. I must admit there were times that I felt like giving up but I never allowed myself to do so. Mr. Kroc said that he never felt like that because he has always had something to fall back on. The answers he gave from his interview are very inspiring.

  • Eva – Floridai said:

    First, I am on board with positive news. It catches on like wildfire. Many people, in everyday conversation, don’t subscribe to that philosophy, but ALL OF US, deep down, have a burning ember of hope that we wish to ignite.

    I appreciate your questions and applaud your easy-to-read format; the bolding of the questions and the spacing. I know people who say it hurts their eyes to read online. This is easy on the eyes.

    The writing is lively and keeps folk’s interest.

    There’s nothing to critique, although it is good and Godly that you are open to change.

  • Debra – Georgia said:

    I read, and enjoyed, the McDonald’s creator interview. I was surprised by a few of the answers, mostly due to the blunt honesty he provided.

  • Jordyn – Idaho Frank – Montana said:

    I just read through the Ray Kroc story. He needs to drop the Padres for sure.. HAHA!

  • Dave – Wisconsin said:

    I was particularly enthralled with your interview with Ray Kroc. A few months back, I thought about McDonalds and wanted to read up more on the company’s storied history. I was born at a time when the company was just reaching its iconic status in culture. I don’t know a world without McDonalds. But the company has long fascinated me, in part because its global headquarters are less than a hundred miles from my neck of the woods.

    Kroc’s philosophy, obviously, is very interesting. In particular, his thoughts on money stood out: “If you work for money, you’re limited in what you can achieve because when you have enough money, for practical reasons, you don’t have the urge to make any more.” I never thought of money in quite that way, but Kroc has a point! I also liked his call to action, imploring people to do work they enjoy. We live in a free country. While there are undeniable obstacles, of course, we do have the freedom to pursue whatever line of work we’d like, tailor-made to our own interests and talents. That said, so many people squander this freedom and wind up in jobs they detest. It’s a tragedy, from my vantage point. On a side note, I am in love with San Diego — it’s one of the communities I visited during my recent jaunt — and didn’t know Kroc once owned the Padres franchise. Interesting!

  • Barbara – Montana said:

    What caught my eye was the signed “note” and then i read the interview. That aspect was great. I would have maybe put an astrisk or two in some of the language to keep the quote but make it more “kid” friendly. Then again, i’m a mom and I look at those things. I would have loved more information on the RM houses as that is such a legacy and something I certainly believe in. I like the candid way you and he spoke, and that’s what interviewing should be, in my opinion. no judgemnet, just straight up ” HI; tell me about what it’s like to be you.”
    i believe Winners Within Us Magazine™ brings good news and refreshing stories to a world gone mad. (: And that it’s sad because we should have more “good news” in the media.”.

  • Heather – Montana said:

    I really thought the flow and the emotion put into this specific article was magnificent I did like how the interviewer apologized for interviewing him right out of the hospital and I absolutely loved the emotion that the founder placed into his answer when the interviewer stated he wished he could participate still when the founder stated that he had to basically get his life in order for his family before he’s gone really touched me how somebody who loves their family so much that even when they are dying they still think about their family however I do beleive the interviewer should have waited until the man was healed before visiting and interviewing with him but if he was fine with it than all worked out.

  • Barbara – Montana said:

    I just read this Interview with Ray Krok. What caught my eye was the signed “note” and then I read the interview. That aspect was great. I would have maybe put an asterisk or two in some of the language to keep the quote but make it more “kid” friendly. Then again, i’m a mom and I look at those things. I thought perhaps the topics could have more equal time and would have loved more information on the RM houses as that is such a legacy and something I certainly believe in. I like the candid way you and he spoke, and that’s what interviewing should be, in my opinion. no judgment, just straight up ” HI; tell me about what it’s like to be you.”
    i believe this magazine brings good news and refreshing stories to a world gone mad. ( And that it’s sad because we should have more “good news” in the media.”.

  • Marguerite said:

    Great article.

  • Christian Burney said:

    An interesting person, Ray Kroc. This was a fun read, although I wish there was more commentary throughout. Mr. Kroc comes off as a bit of a hypocrite when he says things like, “I like the convenience of money, but I have never worked for it. I’ll pay my men a lot of money but I don’t want it,” and “If they gloat over money, I won’t help them at all. But if they use money to good intentions, to help other people, to provide opportunities for young people, I’ll help them.” He says he’s all about helping others and providing opportunities, but McDonalds is notorious for its low wages and people working solely as a cashier or cook at one of the restaurants likely needs multiple jobs to sustain themselves. Working at your average McDonalds is less of an opportunity and more of a bear trap, at least that’s how the media and some employees make it seem. I also found the narrative at the end a little jarring, only because I wish the article contained more from the author throughout. It wasn’t a true article as much as it was a transcript. Though its always good to let an interviewee speak for themselves, I would have liked to see more of the author’s own opinion. Still, an interesting article. I grew up loving McDonalds’ food so it was neat to see how the founder thinks and operates. It’s also tragic that he passed away before seeing his team win in the big leagues.

  • Barbara – North Carolina said:

    This article about the founder of McDonald’s was interesting, and informative. I didn’t like some of the wording used, but those may have been direct quotes I’m not sure on that.

  • Alexander – Puerto Rico said:

    I particularly enjoyed this interview article with McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc. In 1986 when I was 14 I moved to Mexico City, Mexico from Puerto Rico with my father who was assigned to be the plant manager of an RCA television manufacturing facility. Since neither my father nor I knew how to cook at the time, we ate out every night at 5 star restaurants. After three months of this, I discovered there was a McDonald’s in one of Mexico City’s suburbs. I talked my father into taking me there and it was the best Big Mac I’ve ever tasted in my life.

  • Steven said:

    I took the time to reAD this article on Ray Kroc, since his persona is still prevalent today any time you eat a big Mac. What I enjoyed was his candid views on what makes a successful person, corporation, or business. However, I would ask why not dig deeper and try to pull out the human side to the man. He was noted for his altruistic nature, philanthropist propensity, and reading the article showed a hard business side to him. A man who gave so much surely had a more compassionate nature and it would have reflected in his comments. .

  • Alisha – Kansas said:

    I love the idea for your magazine and find the “good news” theme quite refreshing. It is very difficult to find other journalism with this same thought, because the journalism education teaches us “if it bleeds, it leads.” I guess I never did agree with that.

    I also found this interview with Ray Kroc to be interesting; but with that being your main story in the business section, I was disappointed that it wasn’t in article format.

  • David said:

    I liked this interview because of what Ray Kroc did.

  • Sheila – New Mexico said:

    The premise of the magazine and website is admirable. I think my favorite article is your interview with Ray Kroc. Your conversation captured your mutual love for inspiring people to be their best and to make real contributions in their lives.

  • Joe – California said:

    I really enjoyed this.

  • Neta– Michigan said:

    This article about Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s, really spoke to me. It was very interesting and informative. I did not know that he was the owner of the Padres as well. I really liked his attitude about business. My favorite part of the interview is when he stated that he did not work for money, but for satisfaction. I think the article was very inspirational and motivating and I really enjoyed reading it.

    I really like what you are doing and I congratulate you on this fine magazine.

  • Lori – Maine said:

    I read this because I was curious why he was chosen and how he could be presented as a “winner” persona. Certainly wanting to be #1 all the time is one way to achieve winning (based on the definition of “being superior to all others”). But of course, we know there are other definitions as well.

    After Ray talked about his thoughts on money , you followed up with:
    You say you pay your men a lot of money, yet, the Padres has lost valuable talent who didn’t think you were paying enough.
    Personally, I would have followed up with: “Why then was the McDonalds empire built on minimum wage/no benefits jobs? Is that a winning model for workers and for rebuilding the US and global economy?”

  • Sydney D said:

    Hello,
    i am in 11th grade and I am doing a project on Ray Kroc for history day on his leadership and legacy. My requirement is to conduct a personal interview with an expert on this topic. I am hoping that perhaps you might be able to answer some questions about him. I can email you some questions i have if you wouldn’t mind. Thanks, have a great day!

  • Ben - Maine said:

    This resonated with the theme that I too have strong belief in. The statement by Ray Kroc concerning persistence is one that I have lived by as my code: “Persistence overcomes resistance”. I know that Ray didn’t put it that way, but he was very critical of those who attempt to succeed but have little persistence.

  • Kim - Kentucky said:

    I enjoyed this piece because I found Mr. Kroc’s take on money very intriguing. But then again, when you have money…!:)

    I think the concept of your magazine is terrific.

  • Morsi - Louisiana said:

    I have read over your magazine and was truly blown away! Inspirational is an understatement for your motivating as well as truly informative true stories. You are so insightful and your topics and stories are written in a way that everyone can relate to, draw strength from, and gain priceless knowledge and guidance on their life’s journey up the path to reaching their goals and overcoming adversity and the pains of life.
    I especially loved your article on Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s. Not only was it extremely well written, but the questions asked in the interview were obviously well thought out to give the reader an already proven successful plan to become a Winner! Mr.Kroc was honest, open, and upfront about the importance of striving for the top spot, as well as working hard with pride to grow and build, rather than just working for money. You also brought out the point that with his age when he became successful being most people’s retiring age, that it’s never too late to start working towards a new goal or dream. Last but not least, through faith an due diligence, when success does happen for me, I learned to always give back.

  • Morsi - Louisiana said:

    I have read over your magazine and was truly blown away! Inspirational is an understatement for your motivating as well as truly informative true stories. You are so insightful and your topics and stories are written in a way that everyone can relate to, draw strength from, and gain priceless knowledge and guidance on their life’s journey up the path to reaching their goals and overcoming adversity and the pains of life.
    I especially loved this article on Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s. Not only was it extremely well written, but the questions asked in the interview were obviously well thought out to give the reader an already proven successful plan to become a Winner! Mr. Kroc was honest, open, and upfront about the importance of striving for the top spot, as well as working hard with pride to grow and build, rather than just working for money. You also brought out the point that with his age when he became successful being most people’s retiring age, that it’s never too late to start working towards a new goal or dream. Last but not least, through faith and due diligence, when success does happen for me, I have learned to always give back.

  • Eric said:

    I agree that he is a winner, in a business-building sense, but I’ve worked as a crew member in a McDonalds. It’s miserable work for atrocious pay. The entire system exudes a basic distrust of employees and a disturbing view of employees as fungible goods.

    Attitudes like that stem from the CEO down. So profitable business aside, I’ve got a much dimmer view of the kind of man that Ray Kroc was in life.

    While I don’t expect every corporation to demonstrate the same social conscience as TOMS, for example, I tend to think we — as a culture — need a better measure than profit margins for crowing businesspeople as winners.

    On a personal note, I’m glad you’ve been able to take up this publication again.

  • John – Hawaii said:

    I took a quick look at your magazine today and I think the concept is good. I read most of the article about Mr. Big Mac, and while I admire his perseverance as an entrepreneur (which I am as well – writer, inventor, musician, designer, etc.) he ended up beginning the era of erosion of American diets. As a kid I had my share of his burgers, but now I stare in awe at any McDonald’s during lunch time and cars lined up with salivating idiots waiting their turn for their stake in some processed junk food. Just because someone made a lot of money doesn’t justify a negative contribution to society. Name one national food chain that sells healthy food… there aren’t any!

  • Mike – Louisiana said:

    I noticed there’s an interesting tendency to post in this blog what I called “vintage stories,” reports and interviews written sometimes decades in the past and showing them to a new audience. This is one that I really connected with – your interview of Ray Kroc about “Why Americans Need to Be Winners”. This is one of the most interesting interviews I’ve ever read. Every one of Kroc’s answers tells you everything you need to know about the business strategy of McDonalds, as well as capitalism in America in general. It’s interesting that he was so close to the end of his life at the time of the interview, and he took those ideas to his grave. That tells you a lot about someone. Regardless of what you think of his company or the ethics behind some of his business practices, you have to admire someone who really believed what he was saying in a world where so many people lie their way through life.

  • Nathan - New Mexico said:

    I enjoyed reading this interview and found the content engaging and inspiring. In your interview with Ray Kroc you definitely pushed back against some of his “dog eat dog” type business comments and held him to his word, which I really enjoyed.

  • Michelle - Kentucky said:

    I enjoyed reading about McDonald’s creator Roy Kroc. I love history and love to learn new bits of historical information.

  • Gary - New York said:

    Hi Alex, I read this article on Ray Kroc and the interview he gave the magazine before he died. I’ve been familiar with his story for quite some time, and yet I never get tired reading about it. One thing I did not know that I liked from this article was how unmotivated by money he was. I think this is generally true by many business owners and entrepreneurs. Yet, when we hear news talk and business speak, it’s always all about money this and profits that. Amazing how while the country and corporations talk about the bottom line, the business owner talks about bettering their community and creating opportunity for others, which in my opinion is what it’s all about; clearly Kroc shared this view. It is truly amazing how he was able to instill and more impressively, keep that view point at the heart of the operation of such a multinational corporation like McDonald’s. Finally I always love reading about late in life success stories. With all this pressure to achieve your life’s work before 30 now, it’s nice to be reminded that sometimes you don’t break though until later; gives us all hope. Great piece.

  • Marrina – Greece said:

    This article was interesting in a special way – not being American, in fact I am Greek-Brazilian, there is a lot about America that doesn’t go very well with me, and McDonalds, its quality and what it represents is one of those american things that don’t go well with me. Ray Kroc was most definitely a bright and very capable man, with many talents. A lot of what he says rings good and right, but then and again, if in order to be first you have to let go of quality and respect to your own environment, I ask: is it worth it? choices of life you will tell me, and you’ll be damn right. But then there is something to be said about ethics (not moral in the christian sense – too much religion never did us that much good).

  • John P. pollard said:

    I agree with Pixie from OZ’s analysis, it was spot on! (And I’m American but have lived overseas for more than a decade now so do indeed thirst for as many truly international opinions as possible. It was, nevertheless pretty interesting to me.

  • Leslie – Montana said:

    I really like this mcdonalds article. My coach in college owns the McDonald’s in great falls and I showed him the article.

  • Christina – North Carolina said:

    Hello Alex, I recently began looking for a “good news” source after a random thought that, really, all the “news” is usually bad. I searched online for a positive news source & here I am. At a welcome change from the usual news. I’m glad to find that a positive news effort is taking place.

    After looking over your site, I particularly like its focus on articles about / interviews with exemplary individuals… though my one bit of criticism would be that, in light of the effects of mega-chains on food production, environmental impact, and low workers wages, I was surprised to see Ray Kroc interviewed as a “Winner” …. I agree he is a Winner in the sense of “winning” in the American Dream. Those who subscribe to an “anything goes,” cutthroat approach to doing business may be Winners themselves, but as the business entity outlives its creator – and as the effects of that business’s approach ripple out into the world – in the end, with a long-angle view, there are many losers as a result. Again, I’m a seeker of positive news. I think your site has a robust amount of content.

  • Bonnie -- Maine said:

    It was sad to find out he had passed away after the interview. In my early years in school, an author was supposed to come to our (middle) school so we could meet him. Unfortunately, he died before we had the chance to see him. It was disappointing.

  • Jai – Tennessee said:

    Alex: What an interesting site. It is definitely going on my favorites. I read some of the blogs and I’m impressed by the way you view the world around us. The article I found most interesting was this one on Ray Kroc. I’ve always been fascinated by the ingenuity of McDonalds in the beginning. In a time when families couldn’t afford to go out to eat and the social norm was meatloaf or a roast at the kitchen table, he merged new and old ideas to bring about change. Any brilliant marketing scheme focuses on the groups of Americans who are spending their money. My love for the sweet tea and the ever famous “Chicken McNuggets” brings me back to their drive thru more times than I need in a week. They have always impressed me.

    Whereas I do agree that Ray Kroc was a marketing genius and a trend setter of his time, the article was written well. I don’t disagree that he was a winner. The style you chose made the article work and it was informative and interesting. If I had been a fly on the wall, I bet the decision to write the article as such was to show his own voice. He was one of the greatest men to quote, in my opinion.

    I am a patriot through and through. When a soldier returns home, or we win a small portion of the war, I can’t help but be inspired. I find politics fascinating. On the other hand, I find that a tried and true country boy who loves to fish can be just as fascinating as the president or a war hero. While I’m working, customers stop and tell me their stories. Not because I ever ask, they just seem to connect with me and feel comfortable sharing a part of their lives. I am always inspired.

  • anna -- north carolina said:

    The article, Why Americans Need to Be Winners, is one that initially caught my attention. Personally I found the article to be too bland, and not enough solid facts.

  • Andrew – Kentucky said:

    I’m really pretty impressed. I was genuinely interested and feel that the line of questioning really brought out some things about Ray that the reader would never know, looking from the outside, in. It was a great interview, and a moment in time that I’m sure you look back on very fondly. Your comment/reply to Amy below, also lets me know a little more about you and your philosophy… Before interviewing someone, I appreciate that you obviously always begin with research of avaiable secondary data. The more you know about them, the more value I can take from the interview. I read your poems and after reading your poetry I understand what you mean when you say that you approach writing an interview the same way you write poetry. I suspect the wording in the interview are verbatim and that questions go only with the answers they belong to. But, again given your poetry, your skill in rearranging the order/sequence of the discussion, is art – you painted a great portrait of the person you were interviewing using the words Ray Kroc spoke. I really respect the great talent of what you’ve done… I like it.

  • Jen – Oregon said:

    the interview with the founder of McDonald’s was certainly interesting!

  • Leigh Ann said:

    While I admire and respect most of the content of this site, this article is different. I’m sad that Ray Kroc is included among the real ‘Winners’ covered by your magazine.

    There are strong arguments that McDonald’s does not treat its employees well. It pays near-minimum wages, and does not offer health insurance or retirement benefits to the vast majority of them. While Ray Kroc says in the interview that he wants to help other fellows become millionaires, he apparently doesn’t want to help the folks at lower economic rungs get out of that rut. He’s apparently interested only in rich folks…

    Obesity in the U.S. is reaching unprecedented levels. McDonald’s contributes greatly to this phenomenon. Ray Kroc appears to have no problem furthering his own personal wealth at the expense of American health.

    In general, ‘Winners Within Us’ chooses to glorify folks much more worthy than Ray Kroc. We’re all human, I suppose… Everyone makes mistakes sometimes.

  • Chris said:

    I read the story on Ray Kroc with interest. Here’s another man who didn’t find success until late in life and then beyond the wildest dreams of most people. I liked the way that the author highlighted his work ethic and his down to earth personality. I was impressed tat he took only a $175,000 per year salary yet gave away $6,000,000 annually through his charitable foundation.

    I am not exactly sure how your marketplace works, nor to whom in the community you distribute money to, but I would like to find out

  • Jeff – Pennsylvania said:

    Your interview with McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc piqued my curiosity, as I myself had written a playful piece about him a few years back. In that article, I contrasted Kroc’s admittedly “low-end” franchise with more chi-chi (read that favorable) dining establishments. Then I invited readers to admit just how much they secretly craved Big Macs and Chicken McNuggets over Beef Wellington and Shepherd’s Pie – if they were being honest – and painted the forward-thinking Kroc as the gastronomic equivalent of Henry Ford.

    Your pointed and insightful interview only reinforced my original take on the man. Kroc was an old-school perfectionist who felt compelled to win, but NOT at any cost. His time-tested business model seems to have fallen out of vogue these days, and that’s a shame. Society, as a whole, is paying the price for such folly.

  • Joshua – Texas said:

    I am truly amazed, thrilled, and bewildered by this article. Admittedly, I have never seen Winners Within Us™ eZine before now. One look, however, at the type and quality of the publications on this website has made me appreciate and respect what is being accomplished here.

    On the surface the interview seems lighthearted and cordial. Initially discussing Kroc’s experience with his baseball team, the Padres, and his background as a boy who came from a “relatively poor” family, the conversation covers many important facets of Kroc’s life and gives readers insight into what it takes to leave the kind of legacy that Kroc provided in the McDonald’s franchise.

    If readers exert a deeper level of thought in regards to the beginning remarks in the article, a subject of immense importance reveals itself. It is an idea that I believe makes this article invaluable as a source of knowledge from the past and inherently perfect as an addition to the Winners Within Us Magazine™. It is the idea that Americans in the mid-twentieth century had an altogether different view of our nation than many people seem to hold today. When Scandalios asks “How important is it for Americans to regard themselves as #1?” Kroc replies, “I think that’s terribly important.” This philosophy seems to contradict popular dogma promoted in today’s society that states America needs to “level the playing field” with other nations or claims the United States is losing its soft power in a global context.

    Everywhere it seems that more and more opinions are putting American culture down. Some say that we used to be powerful, but that was then and things have changed. Much attention is now focused on rising world powers such as China and Brazil. Looking back at Kroc’s words, one is reminded that America is what we make it. Kroc compares America to his business: “…I’d rather be #1 than anything else.” In referencing his business model, he inadvertently shatters modern ideas that America has grown weak. Instead, it is clear that he would have American citizens take up the attitude that the United States must “Be Daring. Be First. Be Different.”

    This article is intriguing to someone who finds themselves questioning the direction in which the U.S. is heading and anyone who is upset with the widespread stories of a weakening America. After reading this work, it is clear that the purpose of the Winners Within Us™ website is refreshing in today’s world. To offer articles that showcase servant-hearted people and display their work to the world is an essential cause that should receive more attention from scholars and writers of all ages and backgrounds. I am impressed with the content of this magazine.

  • Sue – Wisconsin said:

    The overall feel of the site is very inspiring. I was interested in the contrast between the article about Ray Kroc and the story of a woman who uses her own funds to rescue animals in need. I enjoyed both, but it was obvious that they had very different goals. The Ray Kroc article was reminiscent of a coach talking to his team in a “you can do it if you put your mind to it” style. The other article was more heartwarming, inspiring others to help animals in need — with either time or donations. I enjoyed both articles and thought they both served their purpose. While I prefer a standard feature better than a question-and-answer format, I thought the Ray Kroc article was better-written.

  • Randy – Iowa said:

    I read your Ray Kroc interview, and thought it was a bit all over the place.

  • Coop$ said:

    I have to confess that I had never heard of Ray Kroc until I read your interview (I had Googled “founder of MacDonalds”, because I had heard it was a guy who wasn’t called “MacDonald!)and I have to say what a genius he must have been. There are very few people throughout history that I would actually have liked to have met but I would gladly add ray Kroc to the list.

    Great article.

  • Cameron – England said:

    I absolutely loved this article. I actually didn’t know anything about him, and I guess what I was most surprised to read was that he never worked for money and maintains that people never should, that was a big, but nevertheless, welcome shock to me, also his dislike of ‘dog eat dog’. What I don’t subscribe to however , for obvious reasons – is that Americans should be regarded as #1, though I’m perhaps just mocking here, as I recognise that’s as important for you as us regarding the UK as number 1, in fact I like the working relationship between the two nations

  • Ambre -- Pennsylvania said:

    I have looked through the Winners Within Us website, and I am very excited. I am especially excited about the fact that your magazine delves into the positive aspects of society and the people who try to make the world a better place. So many publications focus solely on critical analyses of society and fail to recognize the positive people who walk among us every day. Because of this, I think people tend to have a warped sense of reality where they believe that evil people outnumber good people. I like that your magazine is contributing to the reversal of this warped sense of reality within the collective consciousness.

    I read the article about Ray Kroc. I don’t quite understand the timeliness of publishing the Ray Kroc interview now. It is interesting to get a first-hand glimpse into the life of such an enigmatic figure, and the timing of the interview is pretty incredible. I just have some issues with the way the article is written. Maybe I am just a stickler for Associated Press and journalistic style, but I see some errors with the quotes that go against AP style. Using punctuation like exclamation marks and emphasizing words can skew quotes or make them subjective. Also, I am not the biggest fan of the Q&A style of article writing.

  • Franz -- Brazil said:

    The interview with Ray Kroc is a must read. It could be longer but I understand the circunstances under which it was made. Each single word out of Mr. Kroc´s mouth is very precious nowadays because it serves as a document on one of the gtreatest entrepreneurs of the 20th century. Perhaps it could come together with an article about the impact of MacDonalds on our everyday lives. The high point of the interview is when Mr. Kroc make it clear that he was to get rid of the San Diego Padres if it does not turn on a profit, revealing that he was very straight regarding to his business ventures despite his philantropical actions and the inspiring fact that he built his empire later on his life.

  • Traci -- Texas said:

    I read the interview with Ray Kroc, whom I have always admired as a business leader.

    I even copied some of the important points he makes about being successful in business:

    - perseverance

    - To Be a Success in Business — Be Daring. Be First. Be Different.

    - If you work for money, you’re limited in what you can achieve because when you have enough money, for practical reasons, you don’t have the urge to make any more.

    - I work for satisfaction. A man’s work is his whole life. You know?
    If you don’t like the work you do, get away from it, do something else or you’re a goddam bum!

    (Okay, Ray, one last question: you’re a man successful in a couple of fields. What would we say your Art is? Making an excellent hamburger, or building an efficient, quality oriented business, or – )

    - Providing other people with goals that are satisfying.

  • Rakheem -- North Carolina said:

    I was blown by the article, i thought it was great how it talked about being lucky can be a success and how the interviewer made great contact with Mr. Kroc, i also liked one part of the article when it talked about Mr. Kroc and his health problems and about him not giving up. It was a great article. Like the article’s message insisted, Everyone’s a winner!

  • colette -- Massachusetts said:

    Ray Croc is likeable to me, because he is a part of the “lost” generation. He worked hard in a post war era and at an age that typically is not looked upon as a entrepeneurial time of one’s life. I like, the honesty of this piece and the attitude of Ray Croc towards the younger baseball players who demand more money and No Trade contracts. I think that the world needs more reality and Ray was able to do that. The illusion and ivory towers that we live in, are sorely destroyed with the weight of the world and most people loose themselves with nothing to lift them up. This man, I could’nt see that happening to. He was real with himself, where he came from and what he had. I don’t have to go to McDonald’s every week to honor him. The man was right though, work for yourself and leave a mark!

  • Anna -- Germany said:

    i am sorry. i was very interested in the concept of your magazine, until i saw that one of your interview subjects was the guy who started mcdonald’s? not exactly the type of inspirational figure i had in mind.

  • liberty reserve said:

    Your Article about Celebrity Interview: Ray Kroc, Founder of McDonald’s | Winners Within Usâ„¢ Magazine Very good visual appeal on this site, I’d rate it 10 10.

  • Sam -- Spain said:

    I just read the interview with Ray Kroc and I loved it! I think I was able to relate to it in a few ways as I’m in the process of working with a small start up business right now, so I appreciated his comments about not working for money, but for satisfaction and ultimately doing something you love or really enjoy.

    I also really enjoyed his frankness about being number one in business.

    “My interest in McDonald’s is so they don’t fall behind. So they stay ahead of competition. I’m the old-fashioned guy in competition — I’ll kill the son of a bitch.”

    I found him refreshing, direct and blunt and it was an inspirational interview, especially since he started McDonald’s at the ripe age of 60!

  • Alex Scandalios -- Editor (author) said:

    Amy,

    Before interviewing someone, I always begin with research of avaiable secondary data. The more I know about them, the more value I can take to and from the interview.

    After this most important task, for me, writing an interview is a form of poetry. I never change the wording of what I or the interviewee said. The words are verbatim and questions go only with the answers they belong to. I do change the order/sequence of the discussion, much the same as when I arrange the words of a poem on the page. My goal is to paint a portrait of the person I am interviewing using the words we spoke.

  • Amy -- Utah said:

    I read the interview you had with McDonald’s Ray Kroc and was surprised by his bluntness in business, yet I agree with his work motives, working not for money but for the satisfaction of working and doing something he loved. I like how you added the post-remarks and followed through with the Chicago Club’s victory.

    I was wondering about some of your interview questions. Most appeared to have been formed on-the-spot using his previous answers as starts, following the natural curve the conversation took, and I am impressed with your seeming ease and knowledge to respond and get such informative results. You didn’t use formulaic questions or directly ask for his favorite/best/advice, you asked about his worst point and still got to his goal in life. I would like to learn how to do that.

  • Pixie -- Australia said:

    The article presents wonderful insights into some of Kroc’s thoughts and ideas but there appear to be significant oversights of information that could have been included as a result of the development of McDonald’s brand in the three decades since the interview was conducted. The title of the article is somewhat misleading and does not reflect the core messages that Kroc expresses: he feels he is more than the brand he created and his life should not be construed as a “win at all costs” existence. The actual title “Why American’s Need to be Winners” is not answered in the article.
    The article would have been strengthened by presenting this interview as a chronological record of his thoughts and ideas, culminating with an acknowledgement that the interview was conducted just before his life ended. This conclusion could be introduced by his comments about his interest in the mission of the newsletter. Introducing his end-of-life perspectives at the beginning of the article is weak. The interview hints at the inconsistencies within this very successful man and these inconsistencies could be presented to highlight what he considered to be a worthy way of living, but that he didn’t live. Why was he involved in a business, baseball, in which he seemingly did not respect the players? Every single person he references in his discussion of baseball could have been supported and encouraged to reach their potential. The writer’s analysis of this inconsistency would have tied up the conclusion.
    The interview obviously garnered interesting information. The format of presenting interviews as if they are unedited (although they have been) is an attempt at letting the interviewees words speak for themselves but this format often over-represents the interviewer. As a reader, I am not interested in how the interviewer got his information; I care about learning from his analytical perspective.
    The shift in the story to discussing the Padres comes out of left field because most people around the world who have heard of McDonald’s will not be familiar with a baseball team from San Diego and it’s link to Kroc. It appears to me that the interviewer/writer is intending this to represent investigative or critical comment on Kroc’s business practices, but it is not grounded in any previous discussion of the Padres’ issues and Kroc’s implied ownership of the team.
    One of the joys of the internet is that it allows for an international audience. The America-centric title of this article is limiting, at best, and could be repelling to a world-wide readership. Perhaps it could be changed to, “McDonald’s Founder, Ray Kroc: The Man Who Helped Others Succeed?” Now, even if I were sceptical of that headline, it would make me curious to read what follows.

  • Christie -- Florida said:

    I particularly liked the Ray Kroc story mostly because I managed a McDonald’s for awhile and it was kind of interesting to learn new things about the founder. I love that you have fiction articles as well.

  • Flechas -- Texas said:

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  • Ivy B -- Minnesota said:

    I skimmed through your website, beginning in Art & Literature. I was happy to see a variety of pictures and poetry, but I kept going until something caught my eye. Something drew me to your article Why Americans Need to Be Winners, the interview with Ray Kroc. WOW! Right away I was expecting him to be an ass, a corporate money hungry ass. I love that the interview seemed candid and I felt as though I gained wisdom from an interview conducted as it was. I’m impressed by the content of your website, you’ve gained a subscriber.

  • Jatinder -- Canada said:

    I enjoyed the article about the founder of McDonalds because he’s not someone who you constantly hear about in the media. It was interesting to read about his story and get some insight into a someone who has been successful for such a long period of time. Him mentioning the fact that he was around at a time where piano players would be making over 5 times the amount of a VP at a bank was a real interesting bit of information.

  • jeremy -- Indiana said:

    After reading your interview with Ray Kroc, I did have some comments. Firstly, congratulations on getting an interview! I understand this was back in the early 80′s, but still an achievement in itself. I appreciated the fact that you didn’t steer away from some of the points that he made during the interview. For example, the question about his attitudes toward business being “cut-throat.” This candid manner of speaking fascinates me because of public perception/image having such a huge impact on branding in modern business. The only thing I might have added would have been some questions focusing directly on “how” he became a winner (the steps he took), and maybe a general question about how he would advise someone to follow their passion to become successful. There were some minor grammatical errors, but nothing unforgivable. The world was much different in 1983, and I imagine at his age family obligations took the bulk of his concentration.

  • Kayla -- South Dakota said:

    I greatly enjoyed this interview because I learned a lot about a person I did not know much about. I think it is important when doing interviews for articles that you ask the questions that will help give information to the readers that they did not know much about before. For example, I did not know that his salary as Chairman of the Board of McDonald’s was only $175,000 a year. It is very eye opening as a reader to know that a multi billion dollar franchise did not pay their Chair, who is also founder, that much money. In the same way, as a reader, I got a taste for how business works (or some businesses). I was also able to understand that he did not work for money, but for the love of his business and wanting to be the best. You captured that very well with your questions (even asking if he ever felt like giving up). I liked his honesty in his interview, and I think you asked the right question to get his honest opinions about his business and money. For example, one of the questions you asked “Regarding competition, you said you’d “kill the son of a bitch.” Don’t you subscribe to “dog eat dog”?”.
    I thought that was an excellent question to ask, because that reveals a lot about his personality as well as his business ethics and his answer clearly expressed that. I think my favourite part of the interview was the follow up of him dying shortly after the interview and about The Padres. I think it not only explains more about the team to the reader, especially since I was not alive then, but also captures how Ray Kroc loved being number one and strove for that. Them doing so well in the 1984 season has more meaning than some people could imagine, and I thought it was a great way to end the article.

  • Sam -- Canada said:

    Overall I believe the article provides a real insight into the views of one of America’s most successful businessmen. It is written in a concise and accessible style which allows the reader to feel that these are Mr Kroc’s real opinions – and not the carefully worded quotes of a PR or communications expert.

    At no point does the article turn into a ‘love-in’. On the contrary, it highlights Mr Kroc’s failures as much as his successes.

    My major criticism would be that it does not shed much light on Mr Kroc’s background and how he managed to establish one of America’s most successful companies. While he makes reference to his humble beginnings, this topic is not explored further. I think this element of his ‘story’ could have shown why and how Mr Kroc became a ‘winner’. In my view the article jumps too quickly from his days as a struggling real estate salesman in Florida to the Chairman of the Board of McDonald’s.

  • Martha said:

    I read quite a few of your articles. I especially enjoyed the ones on famous people – Bill Shoemaker, Dennis Kucinich and Ray Kroc. I think all three articles have depth and reflect personal attributes of the interviewees that would not have been revealed without a skillful interviewer. I agree that our world is full of discouraging news but I think there is an equal amount of encouraging news to be found and reported.

  • Alex -- the Editor said:

    Lorraine, in all fairness, when Ray Kroc died in 1984 the consciousness of American eating habits was not tuned to junk food as bad for your health. A big part of me believes that were he alive today their cuisine would be different and a lot more health-based.

  • Lorraine -- Illinois said:

    I am very interested in this publication that is printing uplifting and positive stories.

    I read the above article “Celebrity Interview: Ray Kroc, Founder of McDonald’s/Why Americans Need to Be Winners”, and would like to pass on some thoughts I had.

    Overall the interview has a good message illustrating how hard work and dedication can take your business to new levels, and that this is what American business needs to be based on. His charity work is quite commendable and if more business owners were like him our world would be a better place. Helping sick children is a wonderful way to use his profits and donations, I am hoping he was able to pass on his wisdom before he passed away.

    The only real gripe I have with using him as an example is that he has built his very successful business on promoting junk food and bad eating habits. On one hand he has helped countless children and their families in their time of need, but in contrast he has caused an unquantifiable amount of damage to children physically with unhealthy food. Much of McDonald’s advertising has been aimed at children, encouraging them in the process to want to eat food that was not nourishing and contributing to the problem we now have with childhood obesity. With some encouragement they are now offering more healthy food choices and have made an effort to make their food healthier. Of course parents are as much to blame for this and people need to take responsibility for their own actions.

    He sounded like a great guy and is certainly an encouragement to all of us that hard work will get you where you need to go.

  • Cheryl P said:

    I’ve read a few pieces in this ezine and I LOVE this Ray Kroc interview. I am impressed with your mission.

  • Tara C -- New Jersey said:

    I think it was a worthwhile interview. You asked the questions in a logical order and got to the meat of the subject’s attitude about business.

  • Bonnie Remmick -- Washington said:

    I read this with facinating interest, because I had never seen the published interview of Ray Kroc.
    Ray Kroc was a second cousin of my father. Growing up in North Dakota I had heard many stories about him from my dad. Dad seemed to really look up to him and respect him, although I never remember him being in our lives. I am 59 now, and my dad and Ray have both been dead many years. About ten years ago there was a great flood in Grand Forks North Dakota, and my cousin Dr. Cindy Juntuneun, who was a young professor at the University there, lost everything in the flood. The only thing left that was recognizable was the piano. The black baby grand sat proudly on top of the neighbor’s house, tilted slightly to the left with one leg hanging over the siding edge. The house interior, looked like ‘shake and bake’ house! But what impressed me most of all, was that the Kroc foundation never forgot their roots, and Ray’s wife donated money to each and every homeowner in Grand Forks impacted by the flood. This money meant everything to those people, most of them with regular incomes under 20k. It was touching, and life saving, and meant everything to this community.

    Reading your ezine, has impacted me in ways you will never know. It comes at a time, when in this economy, I have gone from financial security to what most would consider financial ruin. I have to remember the words of my relative Ray Kroc, and keep my perserverance. Keep on going. It is not about the money! Americans are winners, and we need to remember that!

    Thank you!

    Bonnie Remmick

  • amanda -- New York said:

    After reading your interview with Ray Kroc, I was impressed at his “old-school” American work ethic of being #1, and not working for money but for personal satisfaction. This article particularly interested me as I previously worked for Ronald McDonald House Charities, the children’s charity that the franchise supports. The footnote about how victorious his baseball team became the next season after his death served as poetic justice.

  • jd said:

    My favorite piece is this interview with Ray Kroc- he sounds like such a strong character- but I feel like using an interview style to put the piece together really takes away from getting to know Ray Kroc. I want to see him through the interviewer’s eyes. I find that visual details really deepen characters- and build greater empathy for the reader. I’ll take everything from the wrinkles on his face to the color of the curtains in the hospital room. Is there a Big Mac getting cold on his tray table? Does he have bruising from the IV in his arm? You get the picture. On a positive note, interview style absolutely allows room for all of the wonderfully good-humored quotes Mr. Kroc gave you. I just personally like a bit of a stronger authorial voice in features writing.

  • Lilies R said:

    I liked the article on Ray Kroc It was quite Informative. Though I no longer frequent the franchise I guess pure Ignorance led me to belive that the founder of the Mcdonalds franchise was Ronald Mcdonald, Oops Boy was I Wrong. I also had no Idea that he had invested in the padres or that he was dead. I’ll be enlightening my children on this new found information.

  • mary beth said:

    I read with great interest your interview w/ Ray Kroc. I worked at McDonalds while in high school, and back then, one of our training videos was a “Ray Kroc” story, so reading what you wrote took me back to those days.

    With all of the problems facing our society today, it’s so refreshing to read about the good that people do. These types of articles/profiles are what make today’s communities what they are and what they should be.. a place to find family, friends and comfort.

  • Maggie said:

    I really liked the Ray Kroc interview. I had no idea the founder of McDonald’s was a piano player, and I was also impressed by the fact that he did not “work for money.” Quite touching. For him it was all about inspiring and giving to others. A remarkable man and a bit of information I did not know.

    I myself am inspired by philanthropic, inspiring people. I created an independent small press years ago where I donated part of the book proceeds to charities around the world. That didn’t go over too well as sales without marketing are minimal. But the goal was life-changing.

    I am totally inspired by strong people–movers, shakers, givers.
    The world needs inspiration. In words and in actions.

  • James said:

    I guess overall I like this interview. It stirs up some very strong mixed feelings, though. So I will be wishy-washy, much like a politician.

    I am biased to Ray Kroc for several reasons. First, he is not a quitter and a fine example of what can be done in this country with a good attitude. His “anything goes” philosophy in the business sense is wrong. There are times, even within the machine, that we must think with our hearts. Surf to the “About Us” page on your web site and you’ll catch my drift. Our world is definitely in trouble and the “anything goes” philosophy – a philosophy rooted in self – is not at all what our society needs. We need more you than me.

    Some time ago I lived in El Cajon, which is just east of San Diego. There was a radio station there raising money for a children’s fund. The fundraiser involved a local radio station and the Padres. I cannot remember the specifics, but the disc jockeys were near the stadium (Jack Murphy at the time) collecting and broadcasting live. Joan Kroc apparently showed up and gave them $1000 for the charity. Ever since then I have had an undying respect for a lady I never met. I love kids and saw this as an act of selflessness. This is another reason for my bias to the Krocs.

    On the flipside, and considering the wonderful things McDonald’s does for children, they also do terrible things to children and people in general. This involves the processes surrounding the food they serve. While it is sad that people have died after eating tainted fast food, I do not think the answer to the problem lies in treating it with the same chemical I use to clean my bathroom.

    Athletes that make millions of dollars a year are not on my top-ten list of reverence. The money associated with owning the Padres, and the loss he apparently took with it, could have been put to a much better use. Perhaps I do not see ownership of this ball team as an indicator of how they existed, especially with the knowledge of their obvious love for humanity.

    The good these two people did was astounding, to say the least. I would have liked to have met them.

    When it comes to an article, I prefer those about the folks in the back row, the single parent with three kids who are all making good grades. How do you pull that off nowadays? How about the cop (more bias – dad was a cop) getting spit on and shot at making a whopping 40K a year or his fireman brother making about the same willing to sacrifice himself so that others may live. The same can be said of sailors and soldiers. There many folks living the little life that need recognition.

    Well, that is my mind, at least how it pertains to the article on your site. I agree with what you have written about “war, terrorism, corrupt politicians, children shooting children, global warming.” No Mick, it is no longer a “kiss away.” It is here.

  • KR said:

    I don’t necessarily feel that the founder of McDonalds is the best example considering the McDonalds history of high turnover rates, unhealthy food including the use of animal fats with their fries when McDonalds at that time told consumers that they were using vegetable oil like everybody else, and other poor business practices. Clearly, the founder of McDonalds is not the only featured profile. But a winner is in the eye of the beholder.

  • JC said:

    Really enjoyed your interview with Ray Kroc; I have read a bit about him in the past, but found this interview particularly insightful.

  • Stephanie said:

    I particularly enjoyed your 1983 interview with Ray Kroc; I’m a fan who read his book, “Grinding It Out” and was inspired by his story.
    I would like to be a part of this because I share the same philosophy as you–a belief that the individual should strive to be his/her own personal best. This is also reflected in my Libertarian philosophy; I’m a huge fan of Ayn Rand.

  • Alex Scandalios said:

    Amy,

    My Golden Rule in interviewing someone is to focus on their emotional need to talk to me rather than on my need to speak. My questions flow from there.

    Hope that helps,

    Alex Scandalios

  • Amy said:

    I read the interview you had with McDonald’s Ray Kroc and was surprised by his bluntness in business, yet I agree with his work motives, working not for money but for the satisfaction of working and doing something he loved. I like how you added the post-remarks and followed through with the Chicago Clubs victory.

    I was wondering about some of your interview questions. Most appeared to have been formed on-the-spot using his previous answers as starts, following the natural curve the conversation took, and I am impressed with your seeming ease and knowledge to respond and get such informative results. You didn’t use formulaic questions or directly ask for his favorite/best/advice, you asked about his worst point and still got to his goal in life. I would like to learn how to do that.

  • Anand said:

    I like your magazine and the style of writing that revolves around actual quotes and life’s experiences of the subjects. I particularly enjoyed reading about Kroc and Knight, founders of two of the greatest businesses of our time.

  • Tabatha said:

    I loved your interview with Ray Croc. I’m a big fan of his and hadn’t read anything about him that soon before he died.

  • Matthew said:

    There is something magical about this interview, and how the interviewer managed to bring the defiance and the vulnerability of Ray Krok out at the same time. I love the old fashioned expressions, partilularly “Man alive!”. Fantastic work.

  • lori said:

    it was mcdonald brothers who originally owned mcdonalds(it was 2 brothers,last name mcdonald)kroc bought them out and he developed the franchise stuff….i think he had to pay the mcdonald brothers 1 or 2 million each but it got him their name….theres a tv show on about it and its really good

  • Ms. Jones said:

    This interview is remarkable.In response to Byron’s post- Ray Kroc actually purchased McDonald’s from the McDonald’s brothers- they started the restaurant initally – he built the franchise and basically made McDonald’s what it is today.

  • Trevor said:

    This is a great interview! I especially like Ray’s admission that work should not be done for money but for the joy of accomplishing something. It is the kind of work ethic that propelled America to its original greatness, and I wish was more prevelant today (myself included). Also, I agree with his statement that helping others once you do succeed is very important component of having money.

  • Byron said:

    I always thought a guy named McDonald would have founded the chain. What a crusty old guy. I like him; he says what he thinks in black and white terms. No wonder he built such an awesome business. No BS, just a quality product.

  • rfrnch said:

    Haha, as a vegan this Ray Kroc article is funny. Now I’m craving a burger though…

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