Ethel Fleming, born on December 27, 1890, in Houston, was a remarkable African American actress and nurse. She made history by becoming the first African American supervising nurse at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.

What Was Ethel Fleming’s Net Worth?

During the early 1900s, Ethel Fleming was a Hollywood phenomenon. In her acting career, she had about sixteen big-screen credits. Fleming’s net worth was reported to be in the $2 million during her death time.

Moreover, Fleming began her career as a chorus girl in the early 1900s. Her performance in The Summer Widowers at the Alvin Theater in October 1910 was the first time she had traveled with a theatrical troupe outside of New York City. Her parents were hesitant to send her on tour with the business unless they were convinced that all members would be closely supervised.

Ethel Fleming and Yvonne Nodier on the set of Jack's Sweetheart
Ethel Fleming and Yvonne Nodier on the set of Jack’s Sweetheart
Image Source: IMDb

Likewise, Ethel went to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the company’s farthest-flung destination. Fleming starred with William Desmond as his leading woman in the 1918 stage production of The Pretender. After, in the 1923 production of The Fighting Pretender, she co-starred with Desmond in the main role.

Fleming started her film career with Famous Players and later went on to play minor parts in Fox and Edison films. The Pretender, The Silent Rider, and Smiles were his most notable performances. However, her husband Ray Kroc was an American entrepreneur and businessman who died in 1984 with a net worth of $600 million. After inflation, that’s the equivalent of $1.76 billion today.

Ethel Fleming’s First Marriage, Who Is Her Husband?

Ethel Fleming went to Los Angeles in the summer of 1915 to study film painting, and it was then that she met William Courtleigh Jr. for the first time. Although neither had contemplated marrying at the time, they met multiple times, and their relationship evolved swiftly.

Ethel Fleming's old photo.
Ethel Fleming went to Los Angeles in the summer of 1915 to study film painting. Image Source: Businessguideafrica

After just three weeks of courtship and a day off from work, the pair walked by a registrar’s office, where Courtleigh made an impromptu proposal that they seek a marriage license, which Fleming did not take seriously. Fleming remembered how a clerk asked her to sign a form, and how “it all occurred so rapidly.”

On July 25, 1915, the couple married in Long Beach, Los Angeles, California, and by August 1915, they were residing in their first house, a bungalow. In 1918, Courtleigh died of pneumonia.

In addition, the love birds were wedded for three years until her spouse passed away in 1918. She didn’t have any children at that time since it was the peak of her profession.

Ethel Fleming’s Second Marriage

Well, Fleming, an aspiring actress in the early 1900s, married Kroc, a twelve-year-old salesman before he became famous. They used to be high school lovers, which was the only reason they were together at the time.

Likewise, the couple married in 1922 and spent the next forty years together. Surprisingly, she abandoned her thriving acting profession soon after marrying to devote her time to her family.

Ray Kroc eating hamburger.
Ray Kroc is eating a hamburger.
Image Source: Businessguideafrica

For a long time, the two were inseparably linked. Marilyn Kroc, the couple’s sole child, was welcomed into their life by Fleming. Every successful guy, as they say, has a woman behind him. While married to Fleming, Ray had his financial breakthrough as the creator of McDonald’s.

Ethel Fleming Divorced Ray Kroc

During the early 1900s, Ethel was a Hollywood phenomenon. She has roughly sixteen credits on the big screen in her acting career. Even though everyone believed Ethel Fleming and Ray Kroc were happy and inspiring marriages, they had their issues.

The cause of their divorce, McDonald’s itself, perplexed most of them. The creator of McDonald’s, who was preoccupied with business, wanted to sell milkshake machines, which Fleming flatly refused.

Following McDonald’s popularity, Kroc was mainly concerned with his company, leading to their divorce. Unlike Fleming, who never married, Kroc married Jane Dobbins Green and Joan Beverly Smith after their divorce.

Remembering Ethel Fleming: A Life Well-Lived

Fleming, a talented and strong woman, passed away on December 26, 1965, in Miami, Florida at the age of 75. Her death was a result of natural causes. She left behind her daughter, Marilyn, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and friends who cherished her memory. To honor her, Ethel’s ashes were laid to rest alongside her husband in St. Philip’s Cemetery in Grafton.

Throughout her life, Ethel made a lasting impact through her appearances in various films and her inspiring journey. Her legacy continues to live on, and she will always be remembered for her remarkable talent and indomitable spirit.

Ray Kroc’s McDonald’s Business

Well, Kroc found himself marketing milkshake mixers after WWII. This finally led him to meet Richard and Maurice McDonald, the two brothers who founded McDonald’s. Ray Kroc was employed as a franchise agent, and he started establishing his own McDonald’s restaurants around the country. Ray finally bought out the McDonald’s brothers for $2.7 million in 1961, gaining complete control of the company.

Moreover, the media star changed the fast-food sector over several years, introducing numerous significant adjustments to the franchise model. His primary objective was to maintain as much control over each franchise site as to achieve maximum consistency.

Here is the video of Ray Kroc’s interview.

All of the sites were maintained clean at all times, and the menu was always the same. The idea was to have each burger taste the same no matter where it was served. He was also helped by Harry Sonneborn, his financial genius.

To add more, Harry was instrumental in the buyout of the McDonald’s brothers, among other things. By the time he died, Kroc had expanded the McDonald’s franchise to 7,500 locations throughout the United States. Many more might be found in 31 nations and territories. During this period, the McDonald’s company was valued at $8 billion.

Ray Kroc Owned a Large Number of Real States

A 554-acre property originally held by Croc was advertised for $29 million in 2020, according to reports. The property has a circular residence named the Hamburger among locals. The property was initially acquired for $600,000 by Kroc and his wife Jane in 1965.

Shortly after, McDonald’s first went public, making Kroc a fortune overnight. After acquiring it, he dubbed the land the J and R Double Arch Ranch. Ray utilized the site for McDonald’s research and as a holiday resort for himself and his most trusted McExecutives after erecting numerous stunning buildings.

Likewise, the renowned name did not build the famed hamburger restaurant until the 1970s. He had remarried at the time. The building is fairly elegant, with an open floor plan and high ceilings. It also has 360-degree sceneries of the surrounding valley and a central fire pit that provides a focal point for the wide area.

This home used to have two stylized golden arches at the entryway as a nod to McDonald’s. This functionality, however, was subsequently eliminated. A 17,000-square-foot lodge erected in the late 1960s is perhaps the most spectacular portion of the site. It has a dining room that seats 100 people, a 3,000-square-foot great room, and a 5,200-square-foot conference hall.

This property was ultimately marketed for $14 million by Joan Kroc in 1989. She planned to give the earnings to charity, and the property was finally acquired by Gerald Kessler, the founder of Nature’s Plus supplements. After his death, Kessler renamed the ranch the Circle K Ranch, and a court struggle developed among his beneficiaries. Kessler’s widow later took over the property and advertised it in 2020.

Ethel Fleming’s Bio, Parents & Siblings

Ethel Janet was born on December 25, 1890, in Ohio, USA, to Alexander Frew Fleming and Janet Fleming. Not to be confused with Sir Alexander Fleming, the Scottish scientist, and pharmacologist best known for developing benzylpenicillin, the world’s first antibiotic (Penicillin G).

Fleming grew up in Melrose Park, Cook County, Illinois, and spent a portion of her youth there. Her siblings were Peter W Fleming, Malcolm Blair Fleming, Alexander Fleming, Andrew Edward Fleming, and Mae Belle Nerger.

Ethel Fleming's photo.
Ethel Janet Fleming is Ethel Fleming’s full name.
Image Source: Commons.Wikimedia

There is no information regarding her upbringing or her parents’ occupations. She did, however, attend the same high school as Ray Kroc, Oak Park’s Lincoln School. Ethel went on to become an actress and performer, best remembered for her appearances in classic films including The Kiss (1916), The Wonderful Thing (1921), and Under Cover (1923). (1916).

Follow the featured biography for similar content.