Ray Kroc Net Worth At Death (Forbes) – How Did He Get Rich? Exposed!

Ray Kroc Net Worth At Death

Ray Kroc had an estimated net worth of $600 Million at death. He was an American entrepreneur best known for expanding McDonald’s from a local chain to the world’s most profitable restaurant franchise operation. He earned the majority of his income from McDonald’s.

Ray Kroc spent the majority of his early professional career selling paper cups and milkshake machines. He founded the McDonald’s franchise in 1955 after discovering a popular California hamburger restaurant owned by Dick and Mac McDonald. Kroc bought the company outright in 1961, and his strict operational guidelines contributed to McDonald’s becoming the world’s largest restaurant franchise before his death in 1984, at the age of 81.

To calculate the net worth of Ray Kroc, subtract all his liabilities from his total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity he has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as loans and personal debt, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name: Ray Kroc
Net Worth: $600 Million
Monthly Salary: $2 Million+
Annual Income: $30 Million+
Source of Wealth: Businessman; franchisor

Early Life and Career

Raymond Albert Kroc was born on October 5, 1902, in Oak Park, Illinois, to Czech parents. He took piano lessons as a child and demonstrated his developing business instincts by opening a lemonade stand and working at a soda fountain.

Kroc served as a Red Cross ambulance driver during World War I, lying about his age to begin serving at the age of 15. During his training, Kroc met Walt Disney, with whom he would work professionally for the rest of his life. Ernest Hemingway, also from Oak Park, served in the war as an ambulance driver.

After the war, Kroc worked as a pianist, musical director, and real estate salesman, among other things. He eventually found stability as a salesman for the Lily-Tulip Cup Company, where he rose to the position of Midwestern sales manager.

Kroc’s business dealings introduced him to Earl Prince, the owner of an ice cream shop who invented a machine capable of producing five milkshake batches at the same time. Kroc had left Lily-Tulip by the 1940s to focus on selling these “multi-mixers” to soda fountains across the country.

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McDonald’s Empire

Kroc paid a visit to a restaurant owned by brothers Dick and Mac McDonald in San Bernardino, California, in 1954, which reportedly needed several of his multi-mixers. He was impressed by the operation’s simple efficiency, which quickly catered to its customers by focusing on a simple menu of burgers, french fries, and shakes.

Recognizing the potential for a restaurant chain, Kroc offered to work as a franchising agent in exchange for a percentage of the profits. He founded McDonald’s System, Inc. (later McDonald’s Corporation) in 1955 and opened the company’s first new restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois.

By 1959, McDonald’s had opened its 100th location, but Kroc was still losing money. Kroc established a system in which the company purchased and leased land to new franchises on the advice of Harry J. Sonneborn, who became McDonald’s Corp.’s first president. Sonneborn also assisted in obtaining a $2.7 million loan, which enabled Kroc to buy the company outright from the McDonald brothers in 1961.

Did you know that? McDonald’s is the world’s largest toy distributor, in addition to being the market leader in food sales. McDonald’s distributes 1.5 billion toys through its Happy Meals each year.

McDonald’s retained some of its original character while incorporating new elements under Kroc’s ownership. Kroc maintained the assembly-line approach to hamburger preparation pioneered by the McDonald brothers in the 1940s, while taking care to streamline operations across all restaurants. Franchisees were chosen for their ambition and drive and were trained at “Hamburger University” in Elk Grove, Illinois. They received certificates in “hamburgerology with a minor in french fries” there. Kroc concentrated his efforts on expanding suburbia, capturing new markets with familiar food at low prices.

While some criticized McDonald’s nutritional content, treatment of teenage workers, and Kroc’s reputation for ruthless business dealings, the model he created proved extremely profitable. Kroc’s strict guidelines for preparation, portion sizes, cooking methods, and packaging guaranteed that McDonald’s food looked and tasted the same across franchises. These innovations contributed to the global success of the McDonald’s brand.

Kroc reassigned himself to the position of senior chairman in 1977, a position he held for the rest of his life. When he died of heart failure on January 14, 1984, at Scripps Memorial Hospital in San Diego, California, McDonald’s had 7,500 restaurants in nearly three dozen countries and was worth $8 billion.

Family Life and Other Endeavors

From 1922 to 1961, Kroc was married to his first wife, Ethel Fleming. From 1963 to 1968, he was married to Jane Dobbins Green, and from 1969 to his death, he was married to Joan Mansfield Smith.

Along with overseeing McDonald’s, Kroc purchased the San Diego Padres in 1974 and became the owner of a Major League Baseball team. He published his autobiography, Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald’s, three years later.

Kroc’s story was adapted for the big screen in 2016, more than three decades after his death, in the film The Founder, starring Michael Keaton as the massively successful businessman.

Success Lessons From Ray Kroc

1. There is nothing wrong with drifting

Ray tried out his hands in a lot of ventures; he was a paper cup salesman, a pianist, a jazz musician, a band member, a radio DJ, and a Multimixer sales man.

He never discovered his niche of success until he was 50! Many people, particularly young people, find themselves in similar scenarios, drifting from one career to another, or from trade to another, not really sure where they want to pitch their tent. I have also done my fair share of drifting.

There is nothing wrong in drifting as long as you learn one or two things from your travels. It was during his drifting that Ray learnt so much, not only about catering management, but about business generally.

So immediately he saw the MacDonald’s method he instantly recognized its money-making potential.

That was why it took him less than a year, after he took full ownership, to transform the company into a major player in the fast food business; Ray simply knew what he was doing. There is nothing wrong in drifting for a while, as long as you are learning a thing or two from your travels.

2. Pay attention to your customers

Many businesses, both startups and experienced, make the grievous mistake of neglecting their customers and paying too much attention to the competition.

This is an extreme waste of effort that would cost you more than it will benefit you. Ray, just like Walton and Dell, paid strict attention to customer service standards, and made mandates such as ‘money can be refunded to clients whose orders were not correct or to customers who had to wait for more than five minutes for their food’.

Also, Ray ensured that the meals offered were affordable enough that even a low income earner could buy at MacDonald. A wise business individual will know that customers are the lifeline of his business, and toying with customer satisfaction is tantamount to making holes in your boat while at sea.

3. How can I be different

When Ray began working and eventually took over MacDonald there were other fast-food restaurants, convenience stores, hot dog stands in existence, but it was Ray that had the shrewdness of delivering the service to the customers in a most unique way.

Although he inherited part of his method from the MacDonald’s brothers, he was able to rebrand it in a way that made it practicable in not just one stand, but all across the globe.

Favorite Ray Kroc Quotes

“I put the hamburger on the assembly line.”


“We’re not in the hamburger business. We’re in show business.”


“McDonald’s is a people business, and that smile on that counter girl’s face when she takes your order is a vital part of our image.”


“The success of additions such as the Filet-O-Fish, the Big Mac, Hot Apple Pie, and Egg McMuffin … each evolved from an idea of one of our operators. So the company has benefited from the ingenuity of its small businessmen.”


“I didn’t invent the hamburger. I just took it more seriously than anyone else.”


“I believe in God, family, and McDonald’s. And in the office, that order is reversed.”


“I like to get people fired up, fill them with zeal for McDonald’s, and watch the results in their work.”

Further Reading

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How To Become Rich Like Ray Kroc?

Ray Kroc did not become rich by luck. To become as rich as Ray Kroc, you have to work smart.

Successful people become rich because they take advantage of the opportunities that come their way. They are in the right place at the right time and take the right action.

Thanks to the Internet, the world has changed massively in recent years. Nowadays it has become much easier to make money online.

Instead of looking for a 9-5 job and staying in your comfort zone, it’s better if you become your own boss as soon as possible.

You can learn how to build a digital asset that generates cash flow for you while you sleep to grow your wealth quickly.

If you seize this golden opportunity in time, you can become as successful as Ray Kroc one day.

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