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Chick-fil-A announces the death of its founder

Chick-fil-A announces the death of its founder

It’s been announced that the founder of the Chick-fil-A chain of restaurants, S. Truett Cathy, has died at the age of 93. The company prompted controversy in recent years by taking a very public stance against same-sex marriage.

Cathy was born in Eatonton, Georgia in 1929. He opened his first restaurant in Atlanta in 1946, and then launched the Chick-fil-A chain in 1967. It now has over 1,800 outlets in 40 states across the US, and reported an annual turnover of $5billion in 2013.

A devout Southern Baptist and religiously conservative, Cathy insisted that the chain’s outlets always remain closed on Sundays – a practice the organization continues to this day.

In 2012, Cathy’s son and Chick-fil-A’s chief operating office, Dan, spoke out against same-sex marriage, telling the Baptist Press that the company backed ‘the biblical definition of a family.’

At the same time, it emerged that the company’s charity initiative, the Winshape Foundation, besides funding foster care homes and scholarship programmes, had donated money to a range of political organizations that opposed LGBT rights.

LGBT campaigners subsequently staged widespread boycotts of Chick-fil-A restaurants in response, and the company was forced to issue a statement saying that it intended to, ‘to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.’

He continued working until late last year, retiring as chairman of Chick-fil-A in November 2013 at the age of 92, leaving son Dan to take over the role. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Jeannette McNeil Cathy, two sons, daughter, 19 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.