Frank Carney, who started the Pizza Hut empire with his brother in Wichita, died Wednesday from pneumonia at the age of 82.
If we go by the news reports, Carney had recently recovered from COVID-19, but was suffering from Alzheimer’s for more than a decade, He died at 4:30 a.m. at an assisted living facility in Wichita. The news was confirmed by his wife and brother.
Carney’s story of success is quite an inspirational one, as he was a 19-year-old student at Wichita State University when he and his 26-year-old brother, Dan, borrowed $600 from their mother to start a pizza business in 1958.
When you are starting a business that’s going to pay your way through college, you don’t even think about what the economy is doing, Carney once told a 1992 entrepreneurship conference at Wichita State.
After a successful journey, later PepsiCo bought Pizza Hut for $300 million in 1977. Over the years, Carney got involved in various business ventures, including other food companies, real estate, oil and gas, automotive, rental and recreational businesses.
Only five of about 20 of the companies made him money, a report says.
He probably lost most of what he had made in Pizza Hut, Dan Carney said. He was not depressed. He was just aggressive to build something different.
Frank Carney had one of the largest Papa John’s franchises and kept working until Alzheimer’s affected his health badly.