Carl N. Karcher Biography

hamburger entrepeneur
Died: January 11, 2008 (Anaheim, California)
Best Known as: founder of Carl's Jr. Drive-in Barbecue in California

Founder of one of the largest hamburger chains in the western United States, Carl's Jr. Drive-in Barbecue. Karcher was a deeply religious man and father of 12, who started out as a bread truck driver in south Los Angeles. He bought a $325 hot-dog push cart, having to borrow $311 to pay for it. He soon expanded, eventually buying three more hot-dog carts. By the end of World War II he was able to open his first restaurant in Anaheim California. In 1956, he founded Carl's Jr. Drive-in Barbecue, which today has over 1,000 restaurants on the West Coast. The company also owns Hardee's, La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill, and Green Burrito chains.