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MoxieTalk with Kirt Jacobs

Kirt Jacobs is the host and producer of MoxieTalk, a talk show that gives an intimate look into the courage, character and defining moments of today’s most inspiring individuals.
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Jun 25, 2017

John Y. Brown, Jr. credits his father as the prime motivator and confidence builder in his life, driving his later successes.

Brown began working at age 16 selling Electrolux vacuum cleaners and encyclopedias door to door. He made his way to the University of Kentucky, where he earned a J.D.

In 1962, his partner and he purchased Kentucky Fried Chicken from its founder, Colonel Sanders for $2 million. In 1971, after building 3,500 KFC’s worldwide and making Colonel Sanders one of the world’s most recognized brands, Brown sold KFC for $285 million. After 1971 he became president of the American Basketball Association, created 40 small fast food outlets named Ollie’s Trolley, and purchased three professional basketball teams: the Kentucky Colonels, the Buffalo Braves, and the Boston Celtics.

In 1978 he went on to build the Pamela Brown Auditorium, located in Louisville’s Actors Theatre and contributed a $1 million matching gift to build the downtown YMCA.

In 1979, Brown was elected as Kentucky’s 55th governor. After his run with politics, Brown continued pursuing many new restaurant concepts. He later ran for several public offices, created a number of new companies, and contributed to building the Mohammed Ali Center.

In 2009, Harvard Business School named Brown one of the Great American Business Leaders of the 20th Century.

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