Fred L. Turner

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Fred L. Turner
Born Frederick Leo Turner
(1933-01-06)January 6, 1933
Des Moines, Iowa, U.S.
Died January 7, 2013(2013-01-07) (aged 80)
Glenview, Illinois, U.S.
Cause of death Complications from pneumonia
Nationality American
Education Drake University, B.A. 1954
Occupation Business executive, and former Operations VP, then CEO, McDonald's Corporation, philanthropist
Years active 1958-2004
Known for Co-establishing Hamburger University with McDonald's CEO Ray Kroc (1961)
Successor Michael R. Quinlan
Children 3

Frederick Leo "Fred" Turner (January 6, 1933 – January 7, 2013) was an American restaurant industry executive, chair and CEO of McDonald's.[1] He is credited with helping to massively expand McDonald's, introducing new meals and setting service standards for the company and its employees.[2]

Early life[edit]

Turner grew up in Des Moines and Chicago, and graduated from Drake University in 1954.

After college, he served in the US Army.[3]


Turner began his career at McDonald's in 1956 as a grill operator and was quickly promoted. He was named Operations Vice President in 1958, when the firm had only 34 employees.[2] In that role, he established strict guidelines for how McDonald's hamburgers and other products had to be served - including that fries "had to be precisely 0.28 inches thick",[2] and that "exactly ten patties had to be formed from each pound of beef".[2] "Quality, Service and Cleanliness" became his motto.[2] He became Executive Vice President in 1967, then President and Chief Administrative Officer in 1968. He became CEO in 1973 and replaced Kroc as Chairman in 1977, later named Senior Chairman upon Kroc's death. Under Turner, McDonald's expanded its operations to 118 countries, with over 31,000 outlets, and more than a billion hamburgers had been sold.[2]

He retired in 2004, after which he served as Honorary Chairman.

Awards and memberships[edit]

Turner also served as a director for Aon Corporation, Baxter International, and W. W. Grainger. He received the Horatio Alger Award in 1991. He was a member of the Bohemian Club, and Sigma Phi Epsilon.

Personal life[edit]

On June 22, 1954, soon after graduating college, Turner married fellow Drake graduate Patricia Shurtleff. The couple had three daughters. Patricia died on 9 October 2000.[4]

Fred Turner died on January 7, 2013, the day after his 80th birthday from complications from pneumonia.[5]


  1. ^ "Fred L. Turner". About McDonald's. 2011-11-03. Archived from the original on 2017-01-13. Retrieved 2017-01-13. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Fred Turner (obituary)". The Economist. January 26, 2013. 
  3. ^ Pacific Aviation Museum Report
  4. ^ "Patricia A. Turner Obituary" 18 September 2011
  5. ^ "Fred L. Turner, Innovative Chief of McDonald's, Dies at 80". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
Business positions
Preceded by
Ray Kroc
CEO of McDonald's
Succeeded by
Michael R. Quinlan