KFC founder and American icon, Col. Sanders’ white suit readies at Heritage Auctions Consigned by Cincinnati resident Mike Morris, whose family house was bought by Col. Sanders & where Sanders lived with the family for 6 months; expected to bring $10,000+, June 22, in Dallas
News-Antique.com - Jun 10,2013 - DALLAS – A trademark white suit and clip-on string bow-tie once belonging to Kentucky Fried Chicken founder, fast food pioneer and American corporate icon Colonel Harlan Sanders, is expected to bring $10,000 or more when it comes up for bid, June 22, as part of Heritage Auctions’ Signature® Americana & Political Auction.
“It’s impossible to think of Colonel Sanders, or KFC, without thinking of this white suit,” said Kathleen Guzman, a Managing Director with Heritage Auctions. “To this day, 33 years after his death, the Colonel is just as popular and recognizable as ever. In terms of Pop Culture collectibles, it doesn’t get much better than this.”
The suit, along with a small archive of other Col. Sanders related material, has been consigned by Mike Morris, who was given the suit by the Colonel himself and whose family was close to Sanders and his family in Sanders’ final years after the Colonel bought the Morris house – on a whim – and lived in the family’s basement for six months while he had another house built on the property for Morris family to move into.
It was 1975, Morris was 13 years old and living with his family in in Shelbyville, KY.
“The colonel was living in Louisville about 30 miles away and he wanted to move back out into the country,” said Morris, who now manages a hotel near Cincinnati, OH. “He was driving around, saw our house and liked it. It wasn’t even for sale.”
Nonetheless, after contacting Morris’ father, Colonel Sanders – in his trademark white suit – was soon at the front door. Morris’s father, Edward, at first politely declined the offer.
“The colonel was very persistent,” he added. “He said, ‘It’s a really neat house and I’d really like to live here.’ They came to an agreement a week or so later.”
By the time Colonel Sanders and his wife Claudia moved into the home, they had befriended the Morris family and the Colonel asked them to stay on the property. A home was built next door and they remained neighbors until Colonel Sanders’ death in 1980. The families attended his birthday parties, watched TV together and even went to restaurants with him. Morris even recalls on Christmas morning when the Colonel came over and read ’Twas the Night Before Christmas to he and his sister.
When he was a junior in high school and planning to attend a Halloween party, Morris’s father suggested he go dressed up as Sanders.
“We went to the Colonel’s house and asked if it would be possible to borrow his white suit to dress up for the party,” Morris said. “He said okay, but with one condition: ‘When you’re dressed up, come over so I can see what you look like.’ He was just amazed at how I looked.”
As an added bonus, the colonel had his chauffeur drive the teen into town, where he rolled the window down just enough to stick his hand out and wave at