Jack C. Massey

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Jack C. Massey
Born June 15, 1904
Tennille, Georgia
Died February 15, 1990
Palm Beach, Florida
Education University of Florida
Occupation Businessman
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Polak
Children Barbara Clark

Jack Carroll Massey (1904-1990) was an American venture capitalist and entrepreneur who owned Kentucky Fried Chicken, founded Hospital Corporation of America, and owned one of the largest franchisees of Wendy's.[1][2]


Early life[edit]

Massey was born in 1904 in Tennille, Georgia.[1] He began his business career working as a delivery boy in his uncle's drugstore.[1] He then received a pharmacist's license when he was 19 and bought his first drugstore when he was 25.[1][3] He graduated with a degree in pharmacy from the University of Florida.[2][3] He built the store into a pharmacy chain, selling it six years later.[1][3]

After that, in 1961, he entered the surgical supply business.[1][2][3] He sold that business to the A.S. Aloe division of the Brunswick Corporation for $1 million.[1][3]

Kentucky Fried Chicken[edit]

In 1964, after a career in the medical supply industry, he bought Kentucky Fried Chicken from its founder, Harland Sanders, for $2 million.[1][2][3] Massey embarked on a rapid expansion program, growing the business to approximately 3,500 franchises and grossing $700 million in annual revenue.[1] Seven years later he sold the company for $239 million.

Hospital Corporation of America[edit]

In 1968, he founded Hospital Corporation of America with Thomas F. Frist, Sr. and Thomas F. Frist, Jr..[1] The company became the nation's largest chain of for-profit hospitals and Massey left active management in 1978.[1]


After 1978, he transformed Winners Corporation, one of the largest franchisees of Wendy's hamburger outlets into a major fast-food franchise operation.[1][3] Finally, he listed Volunteer Capital Corporation (a holding company of Wendy's Restaurant fast food franchises) on the New York Stock Exchange.[1]


On November 1, 2005, Belmont University honored him and his family who donated $1 Million Gift to endow a Financial Trading Room named in his honor. The Jack C. Massey Graduate School of Business at Belmont University is named in his honor.[1][2] Additionally, he was the founder of the Baptist Hospital in Nashville.[1]

He was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1987. The University of Florida has named the Jack C. Massey Professorship Fund for him.[3]

Personal life and death[edit]

His first wife, Elizabeth Polak died in 1969.[1] He later married Alyne Queener.[1] He has a daughter, Barbara Clark and three grandchildren.[1]

He died on February 15, 1990 in Palm Beach, Florida.[1]


  • Bill Carey, Master of the Big Board: The Life, Times and Business of Jack Massey (Cumberland House Publishing, 2005)