Ray Kroc

This week in Mailbox we read from your answers to Radio Prague's November competition question and we announce the name of the winner. You will also find out the new question for December. We read from e-mails sent by Don Schumann, US; David Eldridge, UK; Arcadia Wylie, New Zealand; Andrew Dral, US; Mary Krenek, US; Mukesh Tekwani, India.

Hello and welcome to Mailbox. It's the first Sunday of the new month which means that today we'll find out who the winner of our November competition is and we'll also announce a new Radio Prague competition question for December.

We asked you to tell us the name of one of the founding fathers of the world-famous fast-food chain McDonald's. He was born in Chicago in 1902, the son of Czech immigrants from the town of Pilsen and he tried many jobs before he met the brothers Dick and Mac McDonald. He went into business with them and acquired franchising rights to open a Mc Donald's restaurant of his own in 1955. With the opening of his first franchise he founded McDonald's Corporation (originally "McDonald's Systems, Inc."). He died a multimillionaire in 1984.

We received an unusually high number of answers this time, all of them correct. So I suppose the question was too easy, especially for our American listeners.

The answer is of course, Ray Kroc.

Many of you have sent us Ray Kroc's famous quotes. For example Don Schumann from the United States and David Eldridge from England sent us exactly the same quotations, with Mr Schumann adding:

"Luckily, there are far better examples of Czech Americans than he."

So some of Ray Kroc's famous quotes are:

"None of Us is as Good as All of Us."

"I believe in God, family, and McDonald's - and in the office, that order is reversed."

"It is ridiculous to call this an industry. This is not. This is rat eat rat, dog eat dog. I'll kill 'em, and I'm going to kill 'em before they kill me. You're talking about the American way - of survival of the fittest."

"If my competitor were drowning I'd stick a hose in his mouth and turn on the water."

Arcadia Wylie from New Zealand sent us this with her answer:

"My answer to your question is Ray A. Kroc. His parents were from Stupno, near Pilsen. My husband and I saw his bust, pictures and a bit of his history and achievements in a McDonald's restaurant in the city of Pilsen. We were on holiday that time. My husband knows Stupno so we went there for some quick sight-seeing. We enjoyed our trip in that village as well as our stay with my husband's relatives in Pilsen. We like the Czech Republic as a whole."

Our faithful listener Andrew H. Dral from the United States has sent us this e-mail:

"Of course, it was Ray Kroc, who founded McDonald's fast food restaurants. If you want to maintain your health and weight, don't eat there."

And his compatriot Mary Lou Krenek sent us this e-mail.

"The answer for the November competition is Ray Kroc. Yes, his creation is now an icon of America and the World. American culture has often been uniquely identified with "hot dogs, baseball, apple pie and Chevrolet". Americans can probably add McDonald's to this list as one of their uniquely American creations. What was heart-warming was to see and visit a McDonald's in Prague in the nineties! I was in awe of the menu in Czech. It probably means more to the Czechs because the founder was a Czech-American. To have a McDonald's in Prague is awesome in itself for international history."

But this time the lucky person whose letter we drew out of the hat is Mukesh N. Tekwani from Mumbai, India.

"One of the founding fathers of the world famous fast-food chain McDonalds is Raymond Albert Kroc (Ray Kroc). I am a long time listener of Radio Prague. In fact I have been listening since 1979 when I started DXing. Indeed I have many of your QSLs from that period. I am pleased to inform you that I still catch up with news from your country although now I use your web site more."

Congratulations Mr Tekwani and a CD of Czech music is in the post for you.

And now it's time to announce Radio Prague's competition question for December and our mystery person of Czech origin this month is a lady.

She was a wildlife conservationist and author who won wide recognition for her observations on animal behaviour in Africa. She is best known for her books, in which she describes the life of the lioness Elsa, raised in the family household and then released into the wild. She was born in the north-eastern town of Opava. She went to Kenya at the age of 27, where she got married and lived for the rest of her life. She died in 1980.

Please send us the name of our mystery woman by the end of December to the usual address, Radio Prague, 120 99 Prague, Czech Republic or [email protected].