Who Is Marilyn Kroc? Read Exclusive Interview with The Billionaire Daughter of Ray Kroc

Ray Kroc was an American tycoon who was popular for purchasing and popularizing the fast-food giant McDonald’s. 

Kroc brought expansion and made McDonald’s a global franchise. 


To date, McDonald’s is one of the successful fast-food enterprises worldwide.

Ray Kroc also owned the San Diego Padres baseball team for ten years before he died. 

His corporate life was made popular, but not his personal life nor the women in his life.

This article is an exclusive interview with all available information on Ray Kroc’s daughter from his first wife, Marilyn Janet Kroc.


 And exactly happened to her, her mother, Ethel Fleming, and other parts of her life.

 Stick with us!

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Meaning of Marilyn Janet Kroc


 An elaboration of Mary, with the productive suffix -lyn. 

It is recorded in the 18th century, as a possible blend of Mary and Ellen.

But was used regularly since the 20th century.


Originally derived from Jane, it was common in the Middle English period. 

Since the 1960s, it has gone out of fashion in Britain.


A German nickname for a boorish individual.

Derived from Middle High German, German and Yiddish grob.

Who is Marilyn Kroc?

Marilyn Janet Kroc is the only child of Raymond Albert Kroc and his first wife, Ethel Flemming.

She was fondly called ‘Lynn,’ drawn from her first name and her second name from her mother. 

 Marilyn was born to Ray Kroc and Ethel Fleming in Chicago Cook County, Illinois, United States. 

She was born on October 15, 1924, to a white Czech American. 

As a young woman, Marilyn was a physically beautiful woman, with curly hair and an attractive smile.

Marilyn was generally known as the daughter of a renowned businessman, Ray Kroc.

Marilyn’s business life and personal life information are not publicized.

Marilyn lived a short life, much shorter than her father’s. 

Marilyn had been dead for decades before Ray’s eventual death at 81.

Marilyn Kroc’s Father

Ray Kroc grew up and spent most of his life in Oak Park. 

He had served during World War I as a Red Cross ambulance driver.

After the war, Ray Kroc began his career in sales, as a DJ at the local radio station and a pianist at a nightclub.

He sold everything from real estate houses in Fort Lauderdale to feminine accessories and embellishments. 

Marilyn’s father, Ray, opened the first Mcdonald’s restaurant in partnership with the McDonalds brothers. 

Marilyn’s father, Ray Kroc was a multi-millionaire worth $600 million by the time he retired as CEO of McDonald’s in 1974. 

He established 7,500 outlets of the McDonald’s chain in the United States and 31 in other countries before his retirement.

After Marilyn’s mother, Ray remarried two other women for five years each. 

Marilyn’s father established a foundation in their name that supported general medical research.

 ‘The Kroc Foundation’ which was active from 1967 till 1985, was dedicated to supporting medical research on alcoholism and chronic diseases, including diabetes.

The Kroc family were renowned personalities for dabbling in political matters and charitable acts.

Her father, Ray Kroc also struggled with alcoholism for a period.

After a stroke in 1980, he checked into an alcohol rehabilitation center. 

Ray Kroc died of heart failure at 81 years in Arlington Heights.

Marilyn Kroc’s Mother

Ethel Janet Fleming was born in Ohio, USA, on December 25, 1890, to Alexander Frew Fleming and Janet Fleming. 

Growing up, Ethel was raised in Ohio and spent some part of her childhood in Melrose Park, Cook County, Illinois. 

She had six other siblings.

Marilyn’s mother, Ethel attended the same Lincoln High School in Oak Park with Ray Kroc. 

After school, she then became a successful actress and entertainer best known for her roles in vintage movies such; as A Woman’s Wiless (1915), A Slave of Corruption (1916), The Oath of Hate

(1916), East Lynne (1916), Under Cover (1916), The Kiss (1916), Putting the Bee in Herbert (1917), Untamed (1918), The Pretender (1918), The Silent Rider (1918), Smiles (1919), Modern Husbands

(1919), Love Insurance (1919), While the Auto Waits (1920), The Church with an Overshot Wheel (1920), The Wonderful Thing (1921).

Ethel got married when she was at the peak of her career her first husband William Courtleigh Jr.

She had no child from this marriage till her first husband died in 1918.

By the time Ray Kroc married her, she was already a star actress in her thirties.

Ethel stopped acting for unconfirmed reasons after getting married to Ray. 

Marilyn’s mother, Ethel never remarried after her divorce from Ray Kroc.

Ethel Fleming spent the rest of her life away from the public eye.

She died due to natural causes. on December 26, 1965, in Miami, Florida, USA.

Marilyn Kroc’s Parent’s Marriage

Her father, Ray Kroc married her mother, Ethel Kroc (Fleming) when she was a star actress in the early 1900s.

At this time, Ray was still a salesman before he became the businessman he was known as. 

Ethel and Ray attended the same high school, that’s where they first met and became lovers. 

They got married in 1922 when Ethel was in her early thirties and Ray was 21, twelve years younger than her. 

Their union only birthed one child, Marilyn Janet Kroc. 

Marilyn’s father and mother have respectively given the world the most successful fast-food franchise corporation and classic 90s movies. 

In 1961, their forty-year-old marriage ended with a divorce. 

The divorce was due to differences in opinions for the business.

Marilyn Janet Kroc’s Marriage

 Like her father, Marilyn got married more than once.

Marilyn’s first marriage was with Sylvester Nordly Nelson, at age 24 on 27 Apr 1949. 

She had no child from this first marriage.

Marilyn got married a second time to James Barg in 1960, a year before her parents split. 

She remained married to Barg until her death. 

She had no child with James Barg while they were married.

She is usually referred to as Marilyn Janet Kroc, and sometimes Marilyn Janet Barg, never Marilyn Janet Nelson. 

How did Marilyn Kroc Die?

Before she died, she had been battling diabetes.

She died at 48 years on 11 September 1973, at Arlington Heights, Cook Country, Illinois, USA.

She was buried at Memorial Park Cemetery, Skokie, Cook Country Illinois, USA.

Did Marilyn Kroc inherit Ray Kroc’s Fortune?

Marilyn Kroc was not the apparent heir to Ray Kroc’s fortune.

Moreover, she died long before her father.

Ray remained married to his third wife, Joan, till he died. 

Being his survivor, Joan Kroc inherited his fortune which was over $500 million. 

Joan remained a philanthropist till she died in 2003. 

She was 75 at the time and lost a battle with brain cancer. 

These are all publicly available information about Marilyn Janet Kroc’s business or personal life because she was good at keeping it private.

Have a great day.


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