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Press Release - October 24, 2018
Col. Harlan Sanders’ Original Suit Offered at Auction by Longtime DriverDriver Dick Miller offers personal archive of gifts from Kentucky Fried Chicken founder Nov. 3 at Heritage Auctions
DALLAS, Texas (Oct. 24, 2018) — For the last decade of his life, Colonel Harland Sanders relied on Dick Miller perhaps more closely than anyone else. Sanders’ driver and friend, Miller tended Sanders’ estate gardens, looked after his Sanders’ wife, Claudia, after her husband’s passing in 1980, and came to feel like a part of the Sanders family.
After nearly 40 years with the company, Miller is opening his personal archive of gifts and memorabilia he collected during his time with Sanders. The collection spans 20 personal items, including an authentic and iconic Col. Sanders White Suit and a matching Stetson cowboy hat rarely seen at auction.
The two first met in 1979 outside of Claudia Sanders Dinner House in Shelbyville, Kentucky. Sanders asked if Miller would mow grass and wash dishes. "Wash dishes?” Miller asked. The Colonel replied, "Yes, the dishwasher is the most important job. The dishwasher knows if people are eating the food or not!” Miller says he even "drove his boss to his grave,” when he was asked to drive the Colonel one last time – when he was asked to drive the hearse at the Colonel’s funeral.
The collection includes Mr. and Mrs. Sanders’ personal driver’s licenses and an assortment of Sanders’ credit cards, such as his American Express card, and even Sanders’ personal Kentucky Fried Chicken Corp.-branded Chevron credit card. Miller is also offering Sanders’ personally owned belt buckle, inscribed "COL. SANDERS/SAN ANTONIO, 1974,” and Sanders’ personal, silver-toned vintage Diastar 8 Rado wristwatch, all gifts he received over the years.
Miller said the time has come sell his memorabilia because "I want someone who wants and appreciates the items to end up with them,” he said. "He was very generous with the wealth he earned. It was important to him to donate money to education and schools.”
The archive appears at a live auction Nov. 3 at Heritage Auctions’ Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Auction, with worldwide internet bidding available through HA.com.
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