A passage in the Bible says to direct your children on the path they should follow, and when they are older, they won’t depart. And, entrepreneur Dale Thornton is a testament to this.
Setting the standard: AL.com reports Dale Thornton is the son of one of Alabama’s most prominent entrepreneurs, Larry Thornton. His father helms titles such as artist, author, board member at major companies like Coca-Cola, and a franchisee of McDonald’s.
Dedicated to his son: Larry’s resume checks out, but more importantly, his love and dedication to his son never wavered — even after filing for divorce when he was 10-years-old. As a father, he made an effort to teach his son and “shape his thinking.”
Dale on his upbringing: “I was able to see it firsthand,” Dale told AL.com. “Being on time, looking people in the eye, being a man of your word. I was able to see him grow as I grew. It’s been a great journey to be on with him. I consider myself very blessed and lucky.”
Like father, like son: Larry secured his first McDonald’s franchise in 1992. He also made sure to educate his son during the process — paying him $1 an hour while doing so. When Dale turned age 25, he followed in his father’s footsteps and secured a McDonald’s franchise, placing him as one of the youngest to helm this title at the multi-billion dollar fast-food chain at the time.
Now, both Larry and Dale collectively own seven McDonald’s locations.
Both of them made the largest donations to their alma mater: Larry’s influence in Dale’s life presented itself again this year. Back in 2011, Larry donated $1 million to his alma mater, Alabama State.
This year, Dale announced he will be donating half the amount to his alma mater Miles College. This is the largest donation to the Historically Black College and University (HBCU).
“I would’ve just donated anonymously,” Dale said, according to AL.com.“But my goal is to get other Miles and HBCU alums to do something similar — maybe not the same amount. Look back at what Miles has given us. Many hands make light work. What if people gave $10,000, $15,000, $20,000, when they’re 40 or below, relatively healthy, not on too many medicines.”
“That’s how the University of Alabama, your predominantly white institutions do it — with endowments,” he said, according to the outlet. “This is something we’re just not privy to. There’s nothing wrong with us. It’s just lack of education. If you don’t know, you don’t know. Imagine what we could do not just for Miles but for Alabama A&M, for Alabama State, for Morehouse. Because the HBCU is in trouble.”
He added: “Hopefully, I can be a catalyst.”