Dave Thomas


Birthday July 2, 1932

Birth Sign Cancer

Birthplace Atlantic City, NJ

DEATH DATE Jan 8, 2002 (69)

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Became known as the famed founder and chief executive officer of the fast food restaurant chain, Wendy's. He became the television spokesperson for the company in 1989 and appeared in over 800 commercials for the popular restaurant. 

Before Fame

He opened the first Wendy's in Columbus, Ohio, on November 15, 1969. 


He named the restaurant chain after his youngest daughter whose real name was actually Melinda Lou, but she was known as Wendy. During the Korean War, he served over 2,000 soldiers meals daily and rose to staff sergeant. 

Family Life

He was born Rex David Thomas in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and he was adopted when he was six months old. He had five children with his wife Lorraine, whom he married in 1956. He died at the age of 69 in January 2002 after suffering from a cancerous liver tumor. 

Associated With

He and Ray Kroc were both entrepreneurs behind successful fast-food joints.