Truett Cathy Timeline

1921: Samuel Truett Cathy is born in Eatonton on March 14.

1929: Cathy sells soft drinks in his front yard in Atlanta, where the family now lives.

1932: Cathy gets an Atlanta Journal paper route, which he carries faithfully for seven years.

1939: Cathy is drafted by the U.S. Army and serves until he is honorably discharged in 1945.

1946: Cathy and his brother Ben pool their resources and, on May 23, open a 24-hour diner called the Dwarf Grill in the Atlanta suburb of Hapeville.

1948: Cathy marries Jeannette McNeil, whom he first met at age 8 at while attending West End Baptist Church.

1949: Ben Cathy and another brother are killed in a plane crash, leaving Truett sole proprietor of what's now known as the Dwarf House.

1951: Cathy opens a second Dwarf House in Forest Park, where he devises the formula for what will become the Chick-fil-A sandwich.

1963: Cathy trademarks Chick-fil-A.

1967: Cathy opens a separate location in Greenbriar Mall to sell his chicken sandwiches, and Chick-fil-A restaurants are born.

1973: Cathy introduces his college scholarship program for employees. By 2000, over 16,000 employees had received a scholarship.

1982: A major mall developer tries to get Cathy to change his closed Sundays policy by offering a $5,000 donation to a church of Cathy's choice for every mall restaurant that would open on Sundays. Cathy turns him down.

1984: Cathy launches the WinShape Centre Foundation (for "shaping winners"), which sponsors scholarships, camps and foster care programs.

1986: The first free-standing Chick-fil-A opens.

1989: Cathy writes his first book, "It's Easier to Succeed than to Fail."

1993: First drive-through-only store opens.

1996: Chick-fil-A becomes the Peach Bowl's first-ever title sponsor.

2001: Chick-fil-A opens its 1,000th store.

2006: Andrew Cathy becomes the first grandchild to enter the family business, operating a restaurant in St. Petersburg, Fla.

2012: Chick-fil-A surges pass KFC in sales in the United States to become the nation's No. 1 chicken chain.

2013: Dan Cathy promoted to chief executive officer and chairman. Truett Cathy becomes chairman emeritus.

Sept. 8, 2014: Truett Cathy dies early in the morning.