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The company was founded in 1940 by brothers Dick and Mac McDonald (the first restaurant opened in San Bernardino, California) in 1948, the world`s first formulated the principles of the concept of "fast food".
In 1954 Ray Kroc acquired the McDonald brothers to act as exclusive agent for the franchise. In 1955 he opened his first McDonald`s in the town of Des Plains, Illinois (now - Museum of the corporation). In 1955, Kroc was a registered company McDonald`s System, Inc (in 1960 renamed the McDonald`s Corporation). In 1961, all rights to the company have been fully redeemed Kroc.
Source link: http://www.mcdonalds.com/