Ray & Joan : The Man Who Made the McDonald's Fortune and the Woman Who Gave It All Away by Lisa Napoli

9781101984956 Dutton

The dramatic relationship between Ray Kroc, the man who amassed a fortune as chairman of one of America's most controversial and iconic companies - McDonald's - and the passionate woman, his wife, Joan, who gave that fortune away.

Beginning in the 1950s, salesman Ray Kroc presided over the transformation of a successful burger stand into an international brand where millions of people eat each day. All the while he pursued the woman who would become his third wife, Joan - a woman willing to risk her marriage and her reputation to promote controversial causes in which she believed. For sheer emotional firepower, the relationship between Ray and Joan - whose massive gifts to NPR and the Salvation Army rate her as one of the greatest philanthropists of our time - has been compared to that of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

Equally as dramatic as Ray and Joan's romance is the story of how Ray wrested control of the company from the original founders and presided over its growth, once bringing it close to failure before finally triumphing - and, soon after, finally winning the hand of the love of his life. Together, the two stories form a compelling portrait of the twentieth century: a story of big business, big love and big giving.