McDonald's Corp., Oak Brook, IL
Kroc fundamentally altered America's -- and the world's -- eating habits. As he successfully advertised and championed quality/value for McDonald's burgers-fries-shakes, he also raised fast-food industry standards. A salesman of milk-shake mixers, Kroc was so impressed in 1954 by the original McDonald's in San Bernardino, Calif., he made a franchise deal. By 1961, when he bought out the McDonald brothers, he was operating hundreds of McD units. Kroc instituted food prep and service through teamwork, standardized menus and franchisee training schools. He also targeted the expanding U.S. suburban market, employed teens and seniors, offered popular premiums, founded Ronald McDonald House and remained committed to heavy advertising support.