Thursday, December 1, 2016

Lisa Napoli

A journalist for over thirty years, Lisa Napoli was among the pioneering team of reporters at the New York Times who covered the early days of the dot-com era.

Her new book is Ray & Joan: The Man Who Made the McDonald's Fortune and the Woman Who Gave It All Away.

From Napoli's interview with NPR's Scott Simon:
SIMON: He put the hamburger on the assembly line. What was the great idea that Ray Kroc had that made what we now know as McDonald's possible?

NAPOLI: Well, actually, it was two brothers in the desert of California who had the idea of expediting the preparation of hamburgers and milkshakes and french fries. So Ray took this idea. He loved the idea of fast food, and he wanted to propagate the McDonald's all across America. And so the brothers who developed the formula didn't really care to go through the hassle of franchising it. So Ray decided that he would sell franchises all across the country. He convinced them to let him do that.

SIMON: Take us back, please, to that first moment in which Ray and Joan met and sparks flew but, inconveniently, they were married to other people.

NAPOLI: Yeah. That's a problem, isn't it? Ray was trouncing around the Midwest selling franchises. And he walked into the Criterion Restaurant in St. Paul, which was a very elegant place. And in the center of the restaurant was a beautiful, blond woman - 26 years younger - and she was playing the organ. She was hired to entertain the diners. And Ray walked in hoping to sell a franchise to the owner of the restaurant and instead was sidetracked by this beautiful woman. He was a pianist himself, so...[read on]
Visit Lisa Napoli's website.

Writers Read: Lisa Napoli.

The Page 99 Test: Ray & Joan.

--Marshal Zeringue