Truett Cathy Dies: Controversal Chick-Fil-A Founder Was 93

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Chick Fil-Fil-A founder Truett Cathy died today at the age of 93.

Though he pulled himself up from poverty to found one of the most successful fast food chains in America, Cathy may end up being best remembered for the controversies that resulted in part from his conservative religious beliefs.

Truett Cathy Photo

Though the company was being operated by Truett's son Dan at the time, the Chick-Fil-A gay marriage controversy of 2012 resulted in boycotts and public outcries against the iconic brand.

Chick-Fil-A was even banned by the city of Boston as a result of Dan Cathy's admission that he was opposed to gay marriage.

Truett had long since handed over the reins and adopted the honorary title of chairman emeritus, but many credited his fundamentalist religious beliefs (all Chick-Fil-A locations are closed on Sundays) with laying the groundwork for the marriage rights dust-up.

Chick-Fil-A survived the controversy through careful marketing and support from its Bible Belt customers. (The company got its start in the Southeast US, which is still home to the majority of its locations.)

Regardless of your stance on his political beliefs, however, it's hard not to admire Cathy's accomplishments.

He started by purchasing a small diner with his brother and ended up at the helm of a $5 billion business with more than 1,800 locations worldwide.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, three children, 19 grandchildren, and 18 great-grandchildren.

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