Did Colonel Sanders Really Shoot Someone?

Anyone who has feasted on fried chicken from KFC, one of the leading fast-food chains in the country, knows the vibrant face that is visible on the brand's logo. It's the face of the brand's founder, Colonel Harland Sanders. As a New Yorker profile correctly pointed out, the billionaire is a jolly, vibrant personality through pictures, reminiscent of Santa Claus. Well, the reality was slightly different. The Colonel was actually someone who was prone to stress even though he witnessed an incredible amount of success in his lifetime.

Plus, with success and fame, Colonel Sanders couldn't escape the sheer number of theories and rumors about his life that cropped up after KFC became a household name. One of the most intriguing rumors is the idea that the Colonel shot someone. But is that true? Well, we did a bit of digging around to find out the actual truth. Read on for all the details.

The truth about Colonel Sanders and the shootout

Did Colonel Sanders shoot another person? Yes, he did. According to Gizmodo, this was an act of self-defense and not a premeditated shooting which is what some theories seemed to suggest. Also, the person he shot was not killed. What exactly happened? In the 1920s, when Sanders was responsible for a gas station in Nashville, he often clashed with another man called Matt Stewart who owned a competing station nearby. 

Stewart often messed around with Sanders by painting over a sign that was meant to advertise the latter's work. Naturally, this irritated Colonel Sanders, who told him there'd be consequences if he continued troubling him. One day, as Sanders was busy with a business meeting, he noticed that Stewart was up to no good again. However, as soon as Stewart realized he'd been caught red-handed, he got off his ladder and began shooting. Unfortunately, Sanders' companion, a Shell manager, was shot and died from his injuries. Sanders retaliated by taking the slain Shell manager's gun and shooting at Stewart (via Gizmodo).

Stewart did get injured but didn't get killed. In fact, during the trial, he was accused of murder and sentenced to 18 years for killing the Shell manager, Robert Gibson. Sanders was acquitted of all charges. So, yes Colonel Sanders of KFC was in a shootout, but he was no murderer.