Samuel Truett Cathy (born March 14, 1921 in Eatonton, Georgia) is the founder of Chick-fil-A, a quick service restaurant chain based in suburban Atlanta, Georgia.
Cathy was born in Eatonton, Georgia. He attended high school at Boys High in Atlanta, which is now Grady High School.
Cathy began the chain in the Atlanta suburb of Hapeville, Georgia in 1946 with a restaurant called the Dwarf Grill, named for its small size. It was there that he, along with his brother and partner, Ben, created the 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.
Cathy is a devout Baptist who has taught Sunday School for over 50 years. (He teaches preteens). As an extension of his convictions, all of the company's locations (whether company-owned or franchised), are closed on Sundays — a rare policy within the food-service industry — to allow its employees to attend church and spend time with their families. This is a policy that began when Truett was working 6 days a week, multiple hours. He decided to close on Sundays to relax and recharge, as well as honor God. He is also a philanthropist, having given to numerous charitable causes, many with evangelical ties. Cathy is also closely involved with the sponsorship of the college football bowl game now known as the Chick-fil-A Bowl, but from 1997-2005 known as the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, and prior to that simply the Peach Bowl. On October 28, 2006 he received what would have been the last Ford Taurus sedan ever made had it not been for word of the Taurus' reintroduction for 2008. Regardless of the possible reintroduction of the Taurus line, the vehicle was the last off the assembly line of Ford's Atlanta plant and symbolizes a 60-year relationship between Truett and the Ford plant. The plant had opened its doors one year after Truett opened the Dwarf Grill and Truett regularly served all three shifts.
He has written three books: the autobiography Eat Mor Chikin: Inspire More People, a motivational book entitled It's Easier to Succeed Than To Fail, and the parenting book It's Easier to Build Boys than Mend Men. 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. There is a portion of Jonesboro Rd and McDonough Rd in Henry County, GA and Clayton County, GA named in his honor. He attended Woodward Academy.
Honors and Memberships
Cathy has received numerous honors, including the Norman Vincent and Ruth Stafford Peale Humanitarian Award, the Horatio Alger Award and the Boy Scouts of America Silver Buffalo Award.
He is a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity.
Cathy is the the 380th richest man in America and the 799th richest man in the world according to Forbes magazine. He is estimated to be worth $1.2 billion.