Ray Kroc built one of the most successful businesses in the world. He started at the age of 54, and his business changed not only America’s landscape but had a major effect on its culture. As the story goes, Ray was selling milk shake mixers and he had a customer that was ordering a ton of them. He went to see them at their store in San Bernardino, California and was so impressed that he offered to be their franchise manager. The deal was that he was to get 1.9% of gross sales and the McDonald brothers, creators of the concept and owners of the first two stores, .5% of gross sales.
As happens so often, tensions between Kroc and the brothers escalated and their relationship turned bitter. Because much of the agreement was done on a handshake, the agreement could not be enforced and the McDonald brothers lost out on a fortune, many estimate would be worth about $350 million today. The surviving brother died with a net worth of $1.8 million, not too shabby, but far from what he might have been entitled to.
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