Truett Cathy meant something different to many people.
To some, he was a man deeply concerned about foster kids. To others, he was a man whose faith was intrinsic to all be did. To others, he was a purveyor of tasty chicken sandwiches.
If nothing else, he was someone who stuck to his principles and put them first, even ahead of profits.
Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A died early Monday morning. He was 93.
“I’d like to be remembered as one who kept my priorities in the right order,” Cathy often said, according to Chick-fil-A. “We live in a changing world, but we need to be reminded that the important things have not changed. I have always encouraged my restaurant operators and team members to give back to the local community. We should be about more than just selling chicken, we should be a part of our customers’ lives and the communities in which we serve.”
Cathy’s story has been retold hundreds of times.
Born March 14, 1921, in Eatonton, Ga., Cathy’s family moved to Atlanta when he was a young boy. In 1946, he and his brother, Ben, opened The Dwarf House, a small diner in Hapeville, Ga., that was the precursor to today’s Chick-fil-A.
“Nearly every moment of every day we have the opportunity to give something to someone else—our time, our love, our resources. I have always found more joy in giving when I did not expect anything in return,” Cathy wrote in Eat Mor Chikin: Inspire More People.
Chick-fil-A today operates more than 1,800 units in 40 states and the District of Columbia. Despite being closed on Sundays, the chain has more than $5 billion in annual sales.