Meet Baby Harland, Who’s Not Chicken to Carry on Colonel Sanders’ Name

A baby girl won $11,000 for college for sharing the KFC founder’s name and birthday
Baby Harland with her parents.
Courtesy KFC

Baby Harland with her parents.

Baby Harland is here! First, let’s back up: The baby name “Harland,” as in KFC founder Colonel Harland Sanders, just isn’t that popular these days. Sophia, Emma, Liam, Max – modern schools have plenty of them, but Harland was only the 3,257th most popular baby name of 2017. That’s why the chicken restaurant chain held a contest to honor one baby born on the Colonel’s birthday, and named in his honor.

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And now there’s a winner: Baby Harland Rose, daughter of Anna Pilson and Decker Platt of Southern Pines, North Carolina, was born on Sept. 9, 2019, the 128th anniversary of Colonel Sanders’ own birth. The company celebrated her arrival in a social-media post that read, “Welcome to the world, little one. Yours in chicken, Col. Harland Sanders.”

Baby Harland will be known as “Harley” to her family, and she can rest a little easy when it comes to her future education. Winning the contest earned her an $11,000 college scholarship. The “11” in the prize amount is in honor of the chicken chain’s famed 11 herbs and spices.

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Even when the Colonel himself was alive, he was never one of those kids who had to go by his first-name-plus-last-initial in school. According to Babycenter.com, the popularity of the first name "Harland" peaked in 1905, when it was the 484th most popular baby name. Sanders himself died in 1980 at age 90, but his image lives on in KFC’s advertising and marketing. With that in mind, here are 15 things you didn’t know about KFC.