July 2, 1932 - January 7, 2002
American businessman and founder of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Rex David Thomas, was born in Atlantic City and adopted at six weeks. As founder of the Wendy’s restaurant chain, his appearances as spokesperson have made their advertising campaign the longest running in history. Thomas, realizing that his success as a high school dropout might convince other teenagers to quit school (something he later claimed was a mistake), became a student at Coconut Creek High School. He earned a GED in 1993. Thomas was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1999.
Thomas was also a Freemason at Sol. D. Bayless Lodge No. 359 Fort Wayne, Indiana, and a member of the Shriners; he received the honorary 33rd degree in 1995. He was also an honorary Kentucky colonel, as was fellow Brother Colonel Sanders. Thomas was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2003.
Initiated: April 13, 1959
Passed: April 20, 1959
Raised: May 25, 1959
Sol. D. Bayless Lodge No 359, Fort Wayne, Indiana