Dan and Frank Carney

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The first Pizza Hut, currently resides on the Wichita State University Campus.

Brothers Dan (born 1931) and Frank Carney (born April 26, 1938 in Wichita, Kansas) are American entrepreneurs, the founders of Pizza Hut.[1]

Early years[edit]

Dan and Frank Carney were born into a blended family of twelve children, and raised in Wichita, Kansas, where they live today.[2][3]

Pizza Hut[edit]

In 1958, the brothers borrowed $600 from their mother and opened a pizza restaurant catering to students after a local real estate agent with an unrented building convinced them that pizza would be a promising business. Although they knew little about pizza-making or business, they learned quickly and the business started to grow, their first franchise opened in Topeka, Kansas in 1959. The Pizza Hut in Aggieville, Kansas was the first to have delivery, an innovation. By 1977, Pizza Hut had grown to 4,000 outlets and the brothers decided to sell the business to PepsiCo for over $300 million USD. Frank remained the president and a board member of Pizza Hut until 1980.[1][3]

Recent years[edit]


Frank became a franchisee of Papa John's Pizza in 1994.[2] By 2001, he owned 133 locations. Based in Houston, his company runs stores in Kansas, Arizona, Missouri, California, Texas and Hawaii, including several in his hometown of Wichita and the suburbs of Derby and Andover, under the franchise name PJ Wichita LLC., before selling the franchise to then Franchise President Terry Newman. During legal struggles with Pizza Hut in the late 1990s, Papa John's ran commercial advertisements highlighting the fact, including a dramatization showing Frank coming to a Pizza Hut stockholders' meeting wearing a Papa John's apron, saying, "Sorry, guys. I found a better pizza."[4]

Today, Frank sits on the board of Intrust Financial Corp., Intrust Bank, N.A, he is the past president of the International Franchise Association (IFA) and the Wichita Area Chamber of Commerce. Industry honors include the 1975 Silver Plate Award from the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association, and the 1974 Man Of The Year in the Multi-Unit Foodservice Organization, he was a 1991 inductee into the IFA Hall of Fame.[5]

Frank Carney was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2009.[6]


Dan, who has maintained strong community ties to his hometown, has been Chairman of the Board of Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation of Kansas, since its inception of 30 years, a charitable organization and not-for-profit business, he sits on the board of the WSU Foundation, Guadalupe Clinic, Wichita Red Cross and Wichita Community Foundation. Dan has been awarded the W.S.U. Presidents Medal of Distinguished Alumnus Award, and the Big Brother/Big Sisters 'Reaching the Summit' honor. In 1977, he was the first inductee into the Pizza Hut Hall of Fame and in 2001 he was awarded the Junior Achievement Wichita Business Hall of Fame.[citation needed]

Dan spent several years of his adult life playing recreational polo along with his son, professional polo player, Mike Carney,[7] president of Fairfield Polo Club in Wichita, Kansas.[8]


  1. ^ a b "Dan and Frank Carney". Kansapedia. Kansas Historical Society. March 2008. Retrieved 2015-10-01.
  2. ^ a b "Contemporary Honors Award Recipient: Dan and Frank Carney". Emporia State University - School of Business. 2003.
  3. ^ a b "Carney, Frank". Encyclopedia.com.
  4. ^ 9L9EX17J (2018-08-20), 1998 Papa John's Pizza commercial, retrieved 2019-02-20
  5. ^ "Private Enterprise - (1997) May/June 1997 WSU Alumni News - THE SHOCKER". wsu.wichita.edu. Retrieved 2016-09-05.
  6. ^ Rengers, Carrie. "Pizza Hut co-founder's compassionate-care Alzheimer's trial leads to hope for others". kansas. Retrieved 2019-06-11.
  7. ^ Costello, Jeremy. "Polo Club is right in Andover's backyard". Retrieved 2016-09-05.
  8. ^ "Welcome". Wichita Polo, Fairfield Polo Club. Retrieved 2016-09-05.

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