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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk FORD's Avatar
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    [img]graemlins/cry.gif[/img] [img]graemlins/cry.gif[/img] [img]graemlins/cry.gif[/img]

    Dave Thomas, the smiling pitchman whose homespun TV ads built Wendy's Old-Fashioned Hamburgers into one of the world's most successful fast-food franchises, has died.


    Thomas, who was 69, died at his home in Florida, the company said Tuesday.

    The cause of death was not given. Thomas has been undergoing dialysis for a kidney problem since early 2001. Thomas had quadruple heart bypass surgery in December 1996.

    Company officials were meeting at Wendy's headquarters in the suburb of Dublin and planned an announcement later Tuesday morning.

    The founder and senior chairman of Wendy's International became a household name when he began pitching his burgers and fries in television commercials in 1989. The smiling Thomas, always wearing a white short-sleeved shirt and red tie, touted the virtues of fast-food in humorous ads, sometimes featuring stars such as bluesman B.B. King and soap opera queen Susan Lucci.

    "As long as it works, I'll continue to do the commercials," Thomas said in a 1991 interview. "When it's not working any longer, then I'm history."

    Adoption Advocate

    But burgers were not his first love. Thomas, who was adopted as an infant, became a national advocate for adoption.

    He created the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, a not-for-profit organization focused on raising public awareness of adoption. The profits from his books, Dave's Way and Well Done! go to the foundation.

    He once testified before a congressional committee for a bill that would give a $5,000 tax credit to those who adopt children.

    "I know firsthand how important it is for every child to have a home and loving family," he testified. "Without a family, I would not be where I am today."

    Thomas, born July 2, 1932, was 12 when he got his first job -- delivering groceries in Knoxville, Tenn. He joined the restaurant business in the 1950s.

    While working at a barbecue restaurant in Fort Wayne, Ind., he met KFC founder Col. Harland Sanders, who became a major influence in his life.

    Thomas came to Columbus in 1962 to take over four failing KFC restaurants for his boss, who promised Thomas a 45 percent stake in them if he turned them around. Sanders sold the restaurants back to KFC for $1.5 million in 1968, making Thomas a millionaire at 35.

    He opened his first Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers in Columbus a year later. He named the restaurant after his 8-year-old daughter Melinda Lou, nicknamed Wendy by her siblings.

    The chain grew to 4,800 restaurants in the United States and 34 countries by 1996. That year, Wendy's acquired the 1,200-store, Canadian-based Tim Hortons chain of coffee and fresh-baked goods.

    He tried to retire in 1982, but came back in 1989.

    "They took the focus off the consumer," he said of the executives who took over the company.

    In 1999 Thomas temporarily took charge of the company after the second death of its chief executive and president in less than four years. John Schuessler, formerly head of Wendy's U.S. operations, was appointed to those positions in 2000.

    But it was the TV commercials that made Thomas famous. Industry analysts and company officials said the ads helped the company rebound from a difficult period in the mid-1980s when earnings sank.

    "He's given Wendy's a corporate identity ... a down-homey type image. The lack of sophistication is a real benefit for the company," one financial analyst said in 1991.

    In 1996, Thomas filmed his 500th commercial. The company staged a lookalike contest that attracted 1,600 entrants vying for the grand prize: a chance to appear in a commercial with Thomas.

    Thomas, who told the story of his life in Dave's Way, told 2,500 Columbus public school seniors in 1993 -- the year he earned a high school equivalency certificate -- that his biggest mistake was not finishing high school.

    "We have 4,000 restaurants today, but if I had gotten my high school diploma, we might have 8,000," he said.

    Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
    Eat Us And Smile

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    ...It's the BAND and Dave is really the cat that can front VH. He sang his ASS off and was really cool. No cheese here guys, this is filet Mignon! - Steve Lukather's comment after witnessing a Van HALEN 2007 rehearsal

    "What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears?"- 1 Samuel 15:14

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk Rod Dangle's Avatar
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    Bogus

    R.I.P Dave [img]graemlins/cry.gif[/img]

    [ January 08, 2002 at 06:53 AM: Message edited by: Rod Dangle ]</p>
    M*U*L*E

  3. #3
    Good Enough
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    04.20.05 @ 02:39 PM
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    Yeah, RIP Dave! Say Hi to the Colonel! [img]graemlins/cry.gif[/img]
    RLRR LRLL

  4. #4
    Baluchitherium
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    09.15.15 @ 08:40 AM
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    i love wendys.
    unfortunately, that's what happens when you eat too many of your burgers.

  5. #5
    Beloved Glenn's Avatar
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    Donor

    Sad to hear!

    Did anybody catch this, though?

    <blockquote>quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by FORD:
    In 1999 Thomas temporarily took charge of the company after the second death of its chief executive and president in less than four years. <hr></blockquote>Who's this guy that died twice???

  6. #6
    Niners Fan! SactoFan's Avatar
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    Bummer...RIP Dave...
    Can't stop...addicted to the shindig...

  7. #7
    Baluchitherium
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    05.12.06 @ 06:39 PM
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    Its a sad sad day [img]graemlins/cry.gif[/img] Dave rules! RIP
    I am awesome

  8. #8
    Baluchitherium JWS_5150's Avatar
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    Dave was an icon on TV, period. He will be very missed. [img]graemlins/cry.gif[/img] [img]graemlins/cry.gif[/img]
    I'm one of those crazies on your block.

    writing

  9. #9
    The Dude Dan Halen's Avatar
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    Donor

    RIP Dave. [img]graemlins/cry.gif[/img]
    "It's so damn hot... milk was a bad choice." --Ron Burgundy, Anchorman

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk FORD's Avatar
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    10.22.17 @ 08:55 PM
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    <blockquote>quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Glenn:
    Sad to hear!

    Did anybody catch this, though?

    Who's this guy that died twice???
    <hr></blockquote>

    Shit, I read that article before and after I posted it, and didn't even catch that!

    Guess that's what I get for trying to read at 6:00 AM...

    You know, I'm not surprised that poor Dave had heart and kidney problems from eating too much of his own product (high protein diets are healthy, but ONLY if you drink shitloads of water to keep the protein from settling in your kidneys. Cats die from that shit every day)

    But what's the link between burgers and liver cancer?
    Eat Us And Smile

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    ...It's the BAND and Dave is really the cat that can front VH. He sang his ASS off and was really cool. No cheese here guys, this is filet Mignon! - Steve Lukather's comment after witnessing a Van HALEN 2007 rehearsal

    "What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears?"- 1 Samuel 15:14

  11. #11
    Sinner's Swing!
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    Egads, first the Colonel, then Roy, now Dave Thomas, can Ronald McDonald be far behind?

    I really did like Dave. I'm a real sucka for those Americana, rags-to-riches type stories. But do you notice that they always have a part where "our hero" meets "his hero" which leads to his big break? (Oh Eddie...)

    And, yes, I caught it Glenn!
    Mr. Horseradish courtesy of the International Horseradish Council and Brett.

  12. #12
    Sinner's Swing!
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    FORD, Cats, unless they have diabetes, need a LOW protein diet.
    Mr. Horseradish courtesy of the International Horseradish Council and Brett.

  13. #13
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    11.23.05 @ 03:23 PM
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    The article I read said he died of cancer. It didn't specificaly which one. Did any one else catch what it was?
    "Two Dicks WOW!" --Bonnie Bernstein

  14. #14
    Good Enough
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    my mom said he had diabetes. I like wendys food though...
    This is home, this is Mean Street!<br /><br /><b><br />Then one year you find ten years have gotten behind, no one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun. - Pink Floyd, Time</b><br /><br />"Everyone knows that Van Halen with Roth is the only real Van Halen."- Mike Tramp<br /><br /><a href="http://www.vhforums.com/vhlforum/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=12;t=001366&p=66#00 1635" target="_blank"> OBEY THE DFK!!</a>

  15. #15
    Atomic Punk FORD's Avatar
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    10.22.17 @ 08:55 PM
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    <blockquote>quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Yesterdays:
    FORD, Cats, unless they have diabetes, need a LOW protein diet.<hr></blockquote>

    Yeah, but tell THEM that! Aside from whatever you feed them, there's mice, birds, and whatever else they can catch and eat, all of which are meat based products. Quality cat food helps, as does keeping the water clean so they'll drink it.

    But unfortunately, I've seen several cats take a premature trip to kitty heaven because their kidneys stopped working [img]graemlins/cry.gif[/img]

    (and they never ate a Wendy's hamburger)
    Eat Us And Smile

    Welcome back, Van HALEN!!!!

    ...It's the BAND and Dave is really the cat that can front VH. He sang his ASS off and was really cool. No cheese here guys, this is filet Mignon! - Steve Lukather's comment after witnessing a Van HALEN 2007 rehearsal

    "What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears?"- 1 Samuel 15:14

 

 

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