Raymond Albert "Ray" Kroc was an American businessman. He joined the California company McDonald's in 1954, just a few months after the McDonald brothers had branched out from their original 1940 operation in San Bernardino, with Kroc turning the chain into a nationwide and eventually global franchise, making it the most successful fast food corporation in the world. Controversially, Kroc would present himself as the founder of McDonald's during his later life. Kroc was included in Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century, and amassed a fortune during his lifetime. He owned the San Diego Padres baseball team from 1974 until his death in 1984.