Jim Patterson was born in 1933 in Louisville, Kentucky. The only member of his family to graduate from high school, he continued his studies at the University of Louisville. While at U of L, Patterson majored in marketing, participated in the Air Force ROTC program, and worked throughout his education. He bought and remodeled an old restaurant which he re-opened as Jerry’s. Within 8 years, he opened 2 additional Jerry’s. Patterson founded Rally’s and Long John Silver's. Long John Silver’s has franchised over 1,300 locations, employing more than 8,400 workers. He then became a Wendy's franchisee & formed Western Restaurants, Inc., which operated 47 Wendy's.