Today we honor Ray Kroc (October 5, 1902 - January 14, 1984) for his innovation in making McDonald's what it is today. Though he was not the original restaurant owner, I think this quote from Time sums up what he did for McDonald's (and ultimately the fast food industry):
"He sensed that America was a nation of people who ate out, as opposed to the Old World tradition of eating at home. Yet he also knew that people here wanted something different. Instead of a structured, ritualistic restaurant with codes and routine, he gave them a simple, casual and identifiable restaurant with friendly service, low prices, no waiting and no reservations. The system eulogized the sandwich — no tableware to wash. One goes to McDonald's to eat, not to dine."
As someone who has been on the road for 8 of the last 10 days, I cannot help but appreciate Ray Kroc's innovations that created a fast way to grab a bite to eat on the road. I wish I could count the hours that McDonald's has saved. Ray Kroc our Hero of Capitalism today because he used private property (McDonald's restaurants) and created vast amounts of wealth, both for himself and those of us who eat there.
Ray Kroc on Wiki
Ray Kroc profile from Time