N. Clark Stringham

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N. Clark Stringham was the focus of a 2019 Deseret News article. Author Lee Benson said that Stringham was notable because of his desire to give his fortune away before he died.

“In 1974 he and his wife, Barbara, sold their house in California, moved to Sandy, lived in a duplex, and used every cent they had to open the McDonald’s located on 700 East just around the corner from 9400 South.” At the time, Salt Lake City ranked as “the country’s worst market” for McDonald’s franchises—in competition with the popular Dee’s Hamburger stands. But Stringham’s franchise did so well that McDonald’s continued to allow him to open more franchises. He eventually owned and operated 14 McDonald’s restaurants along the Wasatch Front.

As Benson noted, Stringham “took the ‘Billions Served’ on the Golden Arches sign to mean humanity instead of hamburgers.”

Stringham found ways to serve his community. He was instrumental in organizing the Sandy Chamber of Commerce in 1977. He was on the founding board of the Alta View Hospital. He helped found and fund the Sandy Boys and Girls Club for over 20 years where he helped complete a new building. He was able to give back to the community building the 117th Ronald McDonald House in Salt Lake City and serving as its first president in 1988.

In the last years of his life, when he knew that cancer would take him, he took care of the needs of his family and then sold all but five of his McDonald’s franchises and used the proceeds to open a charitable trust to support such cases as the Huntsman Cancer Institute, Primary Children’s Hospital, and the Sandy Boys and Girls Club.

Stringham was born on June 7, 1939, and died on September 3, 2019, after a long battle with cancer. He and his wife, Barbara, are the parents of six children. He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Source: “Why this Utah McDonald’s tycoon sold off all but 5 of his franchises” by Lee Benson