Bringing The World Home To You

© 2024 WUNC North Carolina Public Radio
120 Friday Center Dr
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
919.445.9150 | 800.962.9862
91.5 Chapel Hill 88.9 Manteo 90.9 Rocky Mount 91.1 Welcome 91.9 Fayetteville 90.5 Buxton 94.1 Lumberton 99.9 Southern Pines 89.9 Chadbourn
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Big Macs and Bigger Checks: The Surprising Life Of Joan Kroc

Joan Kroc at a news conference in 1984.
Greg Vojtko
AP Photo
Joan Kroc at a news conference in 1984.

Ray Kroc is the man who transformed McDonald’s from a family restaurant in San Bernardino, California to one of the biggest corporations in the world. 

His life was a rags to riches story, and he was known to be tempestuous both in his business and personal life. The story that is not as well known is that of his wife Joan Kroc. She lived a lavish lifestyle, and used a private jet as others would a sedan. Yet she also became a formidable philanthropist. Writer and journalist Lisa Napoli profiles Joan Kroc in her book “Ray & Joan: The Man Who Made the McDonald’s Fortune and the Woman who Gave It All Away” (Dutton/2016).

Napoli speaks with host Frank Stasio about the enigmatic character and riffs on what the new Hollywood movie “The Founder” got right and wrong about Joan and Ray’s story. 

This segment originally aired Oct. 11, 2017.

Laura Pellicer is a digital reporter with WUNC’s small but intrepid digital news team.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
Related Stories
More Stories