Ray & Joan: The Man Who Made the McDonald's Fortune and the Woman Who Gave It All Away
3.67/5 by 339 users

Ray & Joan: The Man Who Made the McDonald's Fortune and the Woman Who Gave It All Away


The  dramatic  relationship between Ray Kroc, the man who amassed a fortune as chairman of one of America’s most controversial and iconic companies—McDonald’s—and the passionate woman, his wife, Joan, who then gave that fortune away.

Ray & Joan is a quintessentially American tale of corporate intrigue and private passion: a struggling Mad Men–era salesman with a vision for a fast-food franchise that would become one of the world’s most enduring brands, and a beautiful woman willing to risk her marriage and her reputation to promote controversial causes that touched her deeply.

Ray Kroc was peddling franchises around the country for a fledgling hamburger stand in the 1950s—McDonald’s, it was called—when he entered a St. Paul supper club and encountered a beautiful young piano player who would change his life forever. The attraction between Ray and Joan was instantaneous and instantly problematic. Yet even the fact that both were married to other people couldn’t derail their roller coaster of a romance.

To the outside world, Ray and Joan were happy, enormously rich, and giving. But privately, Joan was growing troubled over Ray’s temper and dark secret, something she was reluctant to publicly reveal. Those close to them compared their relationship to that of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. And yet, this volatility paved the way for Joan’s transformation into one of the greatest philanthropists of our time. A force in the peace movement, she produced activist films, books, and music and ultimately gave away billions of dollars, including landmark gifts to the Salvation Army and NPR.
Together, the two stories form a compelling portrait of the twentieth century: a story of big business, big love, and big giving.

Title:Ray & Joan: The Man Who Made the McDonald's Fortune and the Woman Who Gave It All Away
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:368 pages

    Ray & Joan: The Man Who Made the McDonald's Fortune and the Woman Who Gave It All Away Reviews

  • Book Riot Community
    Nov 16, 2016

    This is the fascinating, zany true-life story of the Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton of fast food restaurants. Joan, Ray Kroc’s third wife, ultimately gave away billions dollars of the McDonald...

  • Sam Sattler
    Dec 19, 2016

    Lisa Napoli’s dual biography of Ray and Joan Kroc is a detailed account of the lives of two people who turned out to be a whole lot more fascinating than I expected they would be. Admittedly, Ray an...

  • Tony
    Feb 20, 2017

    RAY & JOAN. (2016). Lisa Napoli. ***1/2.It is interesting to note that the first thing I did when I got this book from the library was to riffle through the pages looking for photographs. Aside from a...

  • Shazia
    Mar 13, 2017

    Ray & Joan is an excellent biographer of Ray Kroc, the man who built McDonald's, and his second wife who gave away his fortune. It is the kind of biography that makes clear that biographies (and books...

  • Sandie
    May 23, 2017

    Five stars for five reasons. 1) Research on people who are wealthy is very difficult, especially if they wish to be anonymous. This book's research was impressive. 2) The audio book was excellent, rea...

  • Viviane Crystal
    Nov 16, 2016

    Ray Kroc, the founder of the world-wide famous McDonald stores, began with little money but a large imagination. Lisa Napoli has given the reader a fascinating look at how this mega-business began. No...

  • Debbie Krenzer
    Nov 07, 2016

    This was quite an interesting book. I learned a lot that I did not know. I knew that Ray Kroc had bought out the brothers and started McDonald's, but I didn't know exactly how it happened. I'm still n...

  • W. Whalin
    Feb 08, 2017

    Learn the Fascinating Background of an Iconic American Brand: McDonald’sI loved hearing the detailed story of Ray Kroc, the man behind the creation of McDonald’s and his third wife, Joan Kroc. The...

  • Christine Cody
    Jan 28, 2017

    What a fascinating story! The title tells it all, but the book is so beautifully written. Napoli writes vividly of the bulldog that was Ray Croc and of the "blond beauty" who captivated his heart long...

  • Gerard Villegas
    Nov 04, 2016

    For those that don't know Ray and Joan Kroc, they were considered the Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton of the business world. Ray, a multi-billionaire from his ownership of the McDonald's chain and...