Was Colonel Sanders An Actual Colonel?

Kentucky Fried Chicken, more commonly referred to as KFC, is easily one of the biggest brands in the world today. According to Biography, Harland Sanders was born in 1890 in Indiana and had to learn how to be responsible at an early age after he lost his father at the age of six. He tackled several roles in his life such as farming, working with the army, operating ferryboats, and learning sales in a bid to provide for his younger siblings.

Sanders also learned to cook early in life and in 1930, he got his gas station in Kentucky thanks to Shell Oil Company. Sanders stayed at the location with his family where he cooked a scrumptious meal every Sunday with fried chicken, steak, and ham (via Food & Wine.) His gas station job basically exposed him to many travelers who asked him for food recommendations which motivated Sanders to start serving the travelers himself. He is better known today as Colonel Sanders, but is that a legitimate title he earned? Or is there another story behind it?

He was honored with this title for his work

As the story goes, Sanders' idea was a roaring success. Serving his family style "Sunday Dinner, Seven Days a Week"  struck a chord with visitors who really loved his chicken. His popularity increased and he found himself attracting more and more customers. As per Food & Wine, his business earned him a spot in Duncan Hines' "Adventures in Good Eating" and also caught the attention of Kentucky Governor Ruby Laffoon. 

Laffoon was so impressed with Sanders that he decided to honor him with the title of Colonel in a bid to celebrate the chef's work and his "contributions to the state's cuisine." And this is how he came to be known as Colonel Sanders. As per the Verge, the exact date of the time Sanders was honored with the title remains unknown due to the fact that there are several accounts — it may have either been the 1930s or 1950s.