Does the name Tim Hortorns Inc. ring a bell? It’s an international fast-food chain restaurant known for its coffee and tasty doughnuts. The restaurant has its branches spread across the world and as of 2016, it has opened over four thousand branches in fourteen countries around the world. Meanwhile, the business was founded by the late hockey superstar Tim Horton along with his friend Ron Royce. However, Tim passed away in 1974 after being involved in an auto crash. Since then, his legacy has continued to live among his family and businesses. Learn everything you need to know about Tim Horton below.
Who Was Tim Horton?
Tim Horton was a professional Canadian ice hockey superstar and a successful businessman famously known for being the co-founder of Tim Hortons restaurant chain. During his playing career, the defenceman completed twenty-four professional seasons in the National Hockey League. Following his outstanding playing style and his excellent achievements, Tim was regarded as one of the greatest hockey players in history. He was posthumously admitted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1977.
The hockey legend, Tim Horton was born in Cochrane city of Ontario, Canada on the 12th day of January 1930. He was the son of Aaron Oakley and his wife Ethel May. Tim grew up along with his brother Gerry Horton. Due to the nature of his father’s job, he spent his early years moving from one city to the other; his father worked as a Railway mechanic. He developed an interest in playing ice hockey at a very young age and during his high school days, he played for his school team. Tim completed his high school education at St. Michael’s College School. Following his impressive record with the school’s hockey team, Tim garnered attention from top NHL teams and was later signed by the Toronto Maple Leafs’ junior hockey team.
Turning pro, Tim Horton made his National Hockey League debut in March 1950. At the time, he shared his time between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Hornets of the American Hockey League. The outstanding hockey star made strides during his professional career and helped the Leafs to win several championships including four Stanley cups, among others. He also played for other top NHL teams including Buffalo Sabres, New York Rangers, and Pittsburgh Penguins, etc. His professional career abruptly came to an end following his demise in 1974.
What Was He Known For?
Undoubtedly, Tim Horton was among the best hockey players the world has ever known. He was able to set different records during his playing career; after his death, his legacy continued to inspire upcoming ice hockey stars. Meanwhile, he was also the highest-earning hockey star at the time. In addition to his burgeoning hockey career, Tim was also a renowned businessman and the co-owner of the Tim Hortons Franchise system. While Horton’s professional career was ongoing, he also ventured into business; thus opening different businesses in Canada including a hamburger restaurant and auto dealership outlet.
Later on, he opened Tim Horton Doughnut Shop in Hamilton Ontario in 1964. His doughnut business became incredibly successful and by 1968, it became a multi-million dollar franchise system. After his death, his partner Ron Joyce bought out Horton’s shares of the business and took over as the sole owner of the business. Amazingly, the business that had just about forty stores at the time later expanded to about 4,600 stores as of 2013.
How Did He Die?
Tim Horton’s sudden death left his wife, four daughters, and millions of fans in overwhelming distress. He died after being involved in a fatal car accident on the 21st of February 1974. It was after the game against his former team, the Maple Leafs that he crashed his De Tomaso Pantera sports car while returning back to Buffalo. After the crash, he was taken to St. Catharines General Hospital where he was later pronounced dead a few hours later.
Soon after his death, his business partner Ron Joyce offered Tim’s wife Lori Michalek the sum of $1 million for her shares in Tim Hortons business chain and eventually became the sole owner of the business. Although she accepted at first, she later filed a lawsuit against Ron but eventually lost the suit in 1993. Lori passed on in the year 2000, leaving behind her four daughters – Kim, Traci, Jeri-Lyn and Kelly.