Lester E. Stein, Jr.
“Great leaders know they’re in the spotlight all the time and constantly act as role models.” – Lester E. Stein
Lester Stein was one of the first hires a month or so after the April 15, 1955 opening of the first restaurant in the McDonald’s System, Inc. (predecessor of today’s McDonald’s Corporation) in Des Plaines, Illinois. Nearly six decades later, the lessons he learned are the same ones being taught each year to hundreds of thousands of new McDonald’s crew members. Lester’s feeling like part of a team is a sentiment expressed by every one of the people interviewed for this book. It is remarkable how far the company has come from those early years, when only men could work in the restaurants. Lester met his wife, Joanne, because of his job at McDonald’s. In July 2012, McDonald’s agreed to host the Steins’ fiftieth wedding anniversary at the museum that now stands at the site of the original restaurant.