S. Truett Cathy, the billionaire founder of the famous restaurant chain Chick-fil-A in the Unites States, died at the age of 93 early Monday, according to the company’s website. Chick-fil-A, which was founded in 1967, currently has more than 1,800 restaurants operating in 40 U.S. states.
The Atlanta-based privately owned company said in a statement Monday that Cathy died at his home in the presence of his family members, but the cause of his death was not disclosed. The company also reportedly said that, according to preliminary plans, the funeral service will take place Wednesday at First Baptist Jonesboro in Jonesboro, Georgia.
"I'd like to be remembered as one who kept my priorities in the right order. We live in a changing world, but we need to be reminded that the important things have not changed. I have always encouraged my restaurant operators and team members to give back to the local community. We should be about more than just selling chicken, we should be a part of our customers' lives and the communities in which we serve,” Cathy had once said, according to a statement by the company.
His restaurant chain follows an exceptional “Closed-on-Sunday” policy, to allow employees "a day for family, worship, fellowship or rest.” The company also made headlines two years ago after its president, the founder's son, publicly opposed same-sex marriage, triggering protests.
The company statement also revealed that in 2013, its annual sales reached $5 billion. It also added that since 1973, the chain of restaurants has provided more than $32 million in financial assistance to its employees.
Cathy's oldest son, Dan, became president of Chick-fil-A in 2001 and its chairman and CEO in 2013, while Cathy continued as chairman emeritus until his death.
Cathy also authored several books including “It's Easier to Succeed Than to Fail,” “Eat Mor Chikin: Inspire More People,” and “Wealth: Is it Worth It?” among others.
Here are some tweets remembering Cathy.
RIP My Friend Truett Cathy. A Godly Man who loved his family well and showed us Faith in the Market Place. We miss you already.
— Dave Ramsey (@DaveRamsey) September 8, 2014
Thank you, Truett Cathy, for your life of faithfulness to Christ, servant leadership, and Biblical stewardship/generosity. #chickfila
— Doug Carter (@dougmcarter) September 8, 2014
Grieving the loss of our founder and chairman emeritus, Mr. Truett Cathy. Our thoughts go out to the Cathy family. pic.twitter.com/1Zu94b3l9w
— Kentlands Sq. CFA (@CFA_Kentlands) September 8, 2014
RIP Truett Cathy. Heaven picked up a good man today
— Steven Nixon (@StevenNixon10) September 8, 2014
Chick-Fil-A's founder, Truett Cathy, died overnight. He was 93. What a trailblazer. Talk about someone who touched the lives of others!
— Jovita Moore (@JovitaMoore) September 8, 2014
— Darren Talley (@DarrenTalley) September 8, 2014
I'm saddened this morning to learn of Truett Cathy's death. A great person and businessman.
— Brince Manning (@BrinceManning4) September 8, 2014