Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s, opened the first restaurant of the chain on November 15, 1969 in Columbus, Ohio. It was named after his youngest daughter Melinda Lou who was nicknamed ‘Wendy’ for not being able to pronounce her own name when she was little.
Although ‘Wendy’s’ was a huge success, being the third most popular burger place in US, Dave Thomas was actually a high school dropout. Worried that his achievements might prompt other teenagers to leave school, he enrolled in Coconut Creek High School and earned his GED in 1993.
Thomas died of cancer in 2002 at the age of 69. There were more than 6,000 restaurants of the chain in US by the time of his decease.