Lovie Yancey (January 3, 1912 – January 26, 2008) was the African-American founder of the Fatburger restaurant chain. She originally owned a small restaurant in South Central. In 1947 she founded Fatburger under its original name Mr. Fatburger. In 1952, Yancey shed both her business partners and the "Mr." from the name of the hamburger stand, and Fatburger was officially born. From the beginning, Yancey was a fixture at the original Fatburger, where customers, who included entertainers such as Redd Foxx and Ray Charles, could custom-order their burgers. Yancey always claimed "I don't worry about McDonald's, Burger King or Wendy's. They may be more popular, but a good hamburger sells itself, and I don't think anybody makes as good a hamburger as we do."
Yancey sold her Fatburger company to an investment group in 1990 but retained control of the original property on Western Avenue. She established a $1.7-million endowment at City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte in 1986 for research into sickle-cell anemia. This was in fulfillment of a promise to her 22-year-old grandson, Duran Farrell, who had died of the disease three years earlier.
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