Kentucky Fried Chicken, more commonly known by its initials KFC, is an American fast food restaurant chain that specializes in fried chicken. Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, it is the world's second-largest restaurant chain (as measured by sales), with almost 20,000 locations globally in 123 countries and territories as of December 2015. The chain is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, a restaurant company that also owns the Pizza Hut and Taco Bell chains.
KFC was founded by Colonel 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. KFC popularized chicken in the fast food industry, diversifying the market by challenging the established dominance of the hamburger. By branding himself as "Colonel Sanders", Harland became a prominent figure of American cultural history, and his image remains widely used in KFC advertising. However, the company's rapid expansion overwhelmed the aging Sanders and he sold it to a group of investors led by John Y. Brown Jr. and Jack C. Massey in 1964.