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KFC was founded by Harland Sanders, an entrepreneur who began selling fried chicken from his roadside restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky, during the Great Depression. Sanders identified the potential of the restaurant franchising concept and the first "Kentucky Fried Chicken" franchise opened in Utah in 1952. The man who branded himself as "Colonel Sanders," became a prominent figure of American cultural history and saw a rapid expansion of his chicken franchise business. Before Sanders sold his company in 1964 he awarded independent franchisor rights in the states of Utah and Montana, and they remain independent to this day.