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Which Business Started the Year You Were Born?

Check out some of the businesses and brands founded from 1950 to today.


Taco Bell, Ralph Lauren, Southwest Airlines, Microsoft -- perhaps these brands have always existed to you. You probably can't imagine a world without these and many other big name companies.

Related: 10 Things You Didn't Realize Were Invented in the 1970s

But have you ever wondered when these businesses got their start? We've rounded up some of the most iconic companies that were started every year starting from 1950. Check out what businesses were born the same year as you.

Dunkin Donuts | Entrepreneur

Dunkin' Donuts

At the start of the '50s, spirits and consumer confidence were high. It's the year the first modern credit card was created by Diner's Club.

Other iconic launches from this year: Dunkin' Donuts, Papyrus

Jack in the Box | Entrepreneur

Jack in the Box

The '50s are known for their classic automobiles. It was a time for drive-thrus, and Jack in the Box created an innovative intercom system, helping you get your meal and show off your ride at the same time.

Other iconic launches from this year: Liberty Travel, Circle K, Totino's

IHG | Entrepreneur

Holiday Inn

PR, marketing and ad agencies began to pick up traction in the 1950s and '60s (think Mad Men). And one of the leading firms of this time was Edelman, which was launched by Daniel Edelman with the vision of delivering "creativity and quality work." Some of its first clients were Sara Lee, Paper Mate and ReaLemon.

Other iconic launches from this year: Holiday Inn, Moncler, Rubycon Corporation

Denny's | Entrepreneur


From drive-in movies to drive-in food -- Sonic Drive-In (formerly known at Top Hat) offered customers an in-car experience, where they could order a cheeseburger and milkshake, delivered by a waitress on roller skates, and enjoy it from the comfort of their car.

Other iconic launches from this year: Denny's, Suzuki Musical Instrument Corporation

Burger King | Entrepreneur

Burger King

While marketing and PR continued to stand strong in the '50s, PR Newswire emerged in order to make life simpler and more efficient for PR firms and brands around the country.

Other iconic launches from this year: Clarins, Ramada, Burger King

Waffle House | Entrepreneur

Waffle House

In the 1950s, tax rates were sky-high -- in fact, the effective tax rate for the wealthy was 70 percent. Of course, taxes can be confusing, which is why firms that help people file their taxes such as H&R Block were established.

Other iconic launches from this year: Aaron's, Waffle House, Aflac

Related: The Secret to Selling to Big Companies

Williams Sonoma | Entrepreneur

Williams Sonoma

Businesses, neighborhoods and cities were continuing to grow throughout the 1950s -- building the infrastructure of the world we live in today. 84 Lumber launched in 1956, providing building supplies and materials.

Other iconic launches from this year: Williams-Sonoma, Mister Softee, Sbarro

Enterprise Rent-A-Car | Entrepreneur

Enterprise Rent-A-Car

After the Federal Aid Highway Act was signed in 1956, construction of 41,000 miles of interstate highways began. A year later, Enterprise Rent-A-Car launched, offering car rentals to people hoping to travel across the country.

Other iconic launches from this year: Canada Goose (formerly Metro Sportswear Ltd.), Hyatt, Food Lion

Pizza Hut | Entrepreneur

Pizza Hut

Before 1958, a place where you could sit and eat many types of pancakes at any hour of the day never existed -- that is, until the International House of Pancakes made its debut. Later shortened to the acronym "IHOP," brothers Al and Jerry Lapin opened the first location in a suburb of Los Angeles.

Other iconic launches from this year: Visa, Budget Rent a Car, LG Electronics, Trader Joe's (formerly Pronto Markets), Pizza Hut, Omni Hotels & Resorts

Little Caesars | Entrepreneur

Little Caesars Pizza

While major chain retail stores began emerging, there remained a gap in the market. The Family Dollar launched in 1959, selling goods, trinkets and food for a dollar a piece.

Other iconic launches from this year: Conair, Little Caesars

Domino’s | Entrepreneur


Over time, more and more companies realized convenience was key in attracting customers. Going beyond drive-thru windows and drive-ins, food companies such as Domino's Pizza began delivering directly to people's homes.

Other iconic launches from this year: Duane Reade, Hardee's, Semtech

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts | Entrepreneur

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

With planes, trains and automobiles becoming affordable modes of transportation, vacation was on people's minds. The first Four Seasons Hotel opened in downtown Toronto in 1961.

Other iconic launches from this year: Haagen-Daz, Claire's

Related: 50 Steps Every Entrepreneur Must Take to Build a Business

Taco Bell | Entrepreneur

Taco Bell

With his goal of creating a store that offers great value and customer service, Sam Walton launched Walmart in 1962 in Rogers, Ark.

Other iconic launches from this year: Crate & Barrel, Taco Bell, Rite Aid (formerly Thrift D Discount Center)

CVS Pharmacy | Entrepreneur

CVS Pharmacy

With many households across America with their own television sets, Comcast launched this year with its purchase of a 1,200-subscriber cable system in Tupelo, Miss.

Other iconic launches from this year: Mary Kay, CVS Pharmacy, Lands' End

Nike | Entrepreneur


Nike was originally founded under the name Blue Ribbon Sports by track-and-field coach Bill Bowerman and middle-distance runner Phil Knight.

Other iconic launches from this year: Tim Horton's, Del Taco, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

Subway | Entrepreneur


While fast food restaurants became the norm across America, one man discovered a way to produce on-the-go food with a healthy twist. In order to pay for medical school, Fred DeLuca opened Subway, formally known as Pete's Subway, and within 10 years he owned and operated 16 Subways across the country.

Other iconic launches from this year: Gold's Gym, Nokia, Petco

Ralph Morse | Getty Images | Entrepreneur

Best Buy

As the world began to make strides to great technology, Best Buy was ahead of the trend, launching under the name Sound of Music and soon becoming a leading retailer of electronics.

Other iconic launches from this year: Bottega Veneta, Peet's Coffee & Tea

John Downing | Getty Images | Entrepreneur

Southwest Airlines

Making travel even more affordable was Southwest Airlines, which offered "the lowest possible fares" to travellers and was one of the first airlines to put price and efficiency ahead of luxury and comfort.

Other iconic launches from this year: Hyundai, Big Lots (formerly known as Consolidated International, Inc.), Ralph Lauren Corporation (formerly known as Polo Fashions, Inc.)

Royal Caribbean | Entrepreneur

Royal Caribbean International

People weren't only interested in flying somewhere for vacation, but also going on a cruise. Royal Caribbean International launched in '68, offering deals for people to vacation on the sea.

Other iconic launches from this year: The North Face, Red Lobster

Related: Century-Old Businesses: Their Secrets to Success

Cracker Barrel | Entrepreneur

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

Unlike fast food chains of the time, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store's motive wasn't to grill a cheeseburger and deliver it to your car in under five minutes. In fact, quite the opposite. Instead, the restaurant chain wanted to give people home-style cooking outside of the house, making most of its menu items from scratch.

Other iconic launches from this year: Gap Inc., Quicksilver

Urban Outfitters | Entrepreneur

Urban Outfitters

Catering to the free-spirited teens and young adults of the '70s, then 23-year-old Dick Hayne and his college classmate Scott Belair opened a retail store that sold second-hand clothing, furniture, jewelry and home decor, which they originally called "Free People." Shortly after it found much success, the name was changed to Urban Outfitters.

Other iconic launches from this year: Mr. Tire, Days Inn

Yale Joel | Getty Images | Entrepreneur

Bed Bath & Beyond

Gone were the days of solely mom and pop shops lining the streets in every town -- instead, people wanted to purchase their items all in one outing. Bed Bath & Beyond (formerly B 'n' Bath, Inc.) offered a variety of retail items and necessities to customers all in a single store.

Other iconic launches from this year: Starbucks, Sunglass Hut, Cuisinart

Atari | Entrepreneur


Forget about board games, Atari helped spearhead the trend toward video games. Launched in '72, Atari hired its first engineer Allan Alcorn, who created the game Pong as a test. However, the game proved highly successful and months later, it began shipping to arcades nationwide.

Other iconic launches from this year: Carnival Cruise Line, Burlington Coat Factory

Smoothie King | Entrepreneur

Smoothie King

Differentiating itself from a market saturated with greasy fast food chains was Smoothie King. Launched in 1973, Smoothing King offered healthier alternatives and promoted health and wellness.

Other iconic launches from this year: Patagonia, Bain & Company, Golden Corral

Alamo | Entrepreneur


While fashion had long been an obsession worldwide, it was a rather expensive interest to uphold. In 1974, Amancio Ortega sought to change that by launching Zara, a high-fashion brand for people on a budget.

Other iconic launches from this year: Alamo Rent a Car, LeSportsac, Marmont

Related: Learn the Secrets of How These Big Brands Made Real-Time Marketing Work for Them

Bettmann | Getty Images | Entrepreneur


April 4, 1975, was a day that would change the tech industry forever: Childhood best friends Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft, eventually providing the world with the Windows operating system.

Other iconic launches from this year: Charlotte Russe, Super Cuts, Tumi

Ed Uthman | Wikimedia Commons | Entrepreneur


The 1970s marked a major decade in technology. Shortly after Microsoft, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak introduced Apple to the world, unveiling the Apple I computer.

Other iconic launches from this year: 1-800-flowers, Benefit Cosmetics, Ticketmaster

David LEFRANC | Entrepreneur

Chuck E. Cheese

After much success with Atari in 1972, Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell decided to create Chuck E. Cheese as a "pet project."

Other iconic launches from this year: Victoria's Secret, The Vitamin Shoppe

Ben & Jerry’s | Entrepreneur

Ben & Jerry's

In 1978, after ditching their idea to create a bagel shop and taking a $5 business course at Penn State, childhood pals Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield decided to launch an ice cream scoop shop, Ben & Jerry's, in an abandoned gas station in Burlington, Vt.

Other iconic launches from this year: Banana Republic, Zumiez

ESPN | Entrepreneur


While political and educational media companies began popping up around the nation, the country had yet to have a 24-hours sports network. That is, until ESPN came along in 1979, launched by Bill Rasmussen and his son Scott.

Other iconic launches from this year: World Wrestling Entertainment (previously known as Titan Sports Inc.), Jiffy Lube, Sylvan Learning

Whole Foods | Entrepreneur

Whole Foods Market

While fast food remained popular among Americans, many people began realizing the importance of health in their diets. And rather than open another health-conscious restaurant, a group of four 20-somethings decided to team up to create a 10,500 square-foot health food store, Whole Foods, in Austin, Texas.

Other iconic launches from this year: Fuddruckers, Applebee's, PacSun

Wikimedia Commons | Entrepreneur

Quizno's Subs

From sports to politics, by 1981, the world had television stations for pretty much everything. However, what about music? That's where MTV came in, becoming the first channel to air a music video on cable TV. The music video was The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star."

Other iconic launches from this year: The Princeton Review, Keurig Green Mountain, Quiznos

Newman’s Own Foundation | Entrepreneur

Newman's Own

Games weren't only for kids, and a couple of innovative entrepreneurs noticed this early on. In 1982, Dave Corriveau and Buster Corley partnered to launch adult restaurant and arcade game chain Dave & Buster's, which let customers "eat, drink, play and watch sports."

Other iconic launches from this year: Olive Garden, Newman's Own, EA

Related: 4 Secrets to Building Your Own Empire

Jimmy John’s | Entrepreneur

Jimmy John's

In 1983, Jeff Brotman and Jim Sinegal created a different type of concept for grocery shopping -- a wholesale club. Opening the first Costco in Seattle, customers could pay to become members of Costco and get low prices and buy their favorite products in bulk.

Other iconic launches from this year: Belkin, Jimmy John's, J. Crew, The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company

Forever 21 | Entrepreneur

Forever 21

As technology began picking up traction around the world, Michael Dell became the next tech entrepreneur to make a splash. Originally named PC's Limited, Dell launched his company at just 19-years-old, with $1,000 in the bank and a vision to change technology.

Other iconic launches from this year: Forever 21 (formerly known as Fashion 21), Blackberry (formerly known as Research in Motion), Burt's Bees, Emirates Airlines | Pinterest | Entrepreneur


Then known as Quantum Computer Services, America Online launched in 1985, becoming a leader in email and digital communication. Often associated with the service is the line, "Welcome! You've got mail!"

Other iconic launches from this year: California Pizza Kitchen, Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville

Five Guys | Entrepreneur

Five Guys

Like Bed Bath & Beyond and Home Depot, superstores began emerging around the world, offering one-stop shops for many things -- even office supplies. In 1986, Staples was founded and carried nearly anything someone would need for their office.

Other iconic launches from this year: Acura, American Girl, Five Guys

Express Newspapers | Getty Images | Entrepreneur

Sports Authority

Another superstore that emerged on the market in the '80s was Sports Authority, which offered a variety of sporting apparel and gadgets to customers.

Other iconic launches from this year: Country Inns and Suites, Huawei

Cold Stone Creamery | Entrepreneur

Cold Stone Creamery

Just in time for the technology boom, Linksys was founded by Victor and Janie Tsao and offered data networking products for electronic tools, internet and later Wi-Fi for businesses and homes around the country.

Other iconic launches from this year: Cold Stone Creamery, Dippin' Dots, Auntie Anne's

Andrew Sacks | Getty Images | Entrepreneur


Progress in technology wasn't only in terms of computers and cell phones. In 1989, friends Gary Burrell and Min Kao came together to create tech navigation tools. Originally founded under the name ProNav but later renamed Garmin, the duo's first customer was the U.S. Army. Today, the company's navigation tools are used by individuals and companies worldwide.

Other iconic launches from this year: 1-800-GOT-JUNK? (formerly known as The Rubbish Boys), Lexus, Asus

Alexander Joe | Getty Images | Entrepreneur

Sirius Satellite Radio

Ex-NASA engineer Robert Briskman formed Satellite CD Radio, Inc., which today is known as Sirius Satellite Radio. It was one of the first digital radio services to use satellites to broadcast to subscribers.

Other iconic launches from this year: Jamba Juice, Lucky Brand Jeans, Baja Fresh

Related: 3 Mega Marketing Lessons From 3 Companies With Strong Brands

Brighton Collectible | Entrepreneur

Brighton Collectible

By 1991, there were superstores for pretty much everything, however, what was the one superstore that was missing from America? Wine, beer and spirits. Brothers David and Robert Trone went to fill this void, launching Total Wine & More, which is the largest independent retailer of fine wines today.

Other iconic launches from this year: Brighton Collectibles, Shiekh Shoes

Clif Bar & Company | Entrepreneur

Clif Bar

In 1990, during a long bike ride, Clif Bar founder Gary Erickson couldn't handle another tasteless energy bar. He realized he needed to make his own. Two years later, in his parent's kitchen, he concocted an energy bar recipe that was then sold in stores.

Other iconic launches from this year: Cartoon Network, Caribou Coffee, Anthropologie

Wikipedia Commons | Entrepreneur


While fast food remained popular in the United States, people slowly became aware of its health implications and wanted a solution -- something not so greasy, but was also in line with their on-the-go lifestyles. Chipotle officially opened its doors in 1993 as a "fast casual" restaurant, offering higher quality meals quickly.

Other iconic launches from this year: CarMax, Qatar Airways, P.F. Chang's

David Robbins | Getty Images | Entrepreneur


Today's leading online retailer initially got its start back in '94. Like many other tech pioneers, Jeff Bezos set up shop in a small two-bedroom home and launched Amazon, only selling books at first.

Other iconic launches from this year: AllSaints, Wetzel's Pretzels

ebay | Entrepreneur


In 1995, Pierre Omidyar launched eBay, which was originally named AuctionWeb, and was a website "dedicated to bringing together buyers and sellers in an honest and open marketplace."

Other iconic launches from this year: Yahoo!, eBay, Craigslist

Under Armour | Entrepreneur

Under Armour

With more and more airlines emerging, travel had never been easier. That is, until sites such as Travelocity began surfacing. Rather than using a travel agent or going directly through hotels and airlines, Travelocity let people find the most affordable prices for their next family vacation, and they could plan an entire trip online.

Other iconic launches from this year: Under Armour, Netgear, Fiji Water, Jimmy Choo, WebMD

Liba Taylor | Getty Images | Entrepreneur


Foreshadowing the demise of physical movie rental stores was Netflix, which let customers rent movies online to be delivered to their homes. While these sites are now subscription-based and on-demand, Netflix was ahead of its time in removing the process of actually going to a video rental store.

Other iconic launches from this year: Priceline, GoDaddy | Entrepreneur

By 1998, technology became so advanced that if you wanted to figure out the answer to a question, you could simply type it into a web browser and voila! That's right, 1998 is the official year search giant Google got its start, after years of development in a small Palo Alto garage by Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

Other iconic launches from this year: JetBlue Airlines, OpenTable,

Related: 3 Tips for Doing Deals With Big Companies

Salesforce | Entrepreneur


Marc Benioff, who, with the help of engineers Parker Harris, Frank Dominguez and Dave Moellenhoff, launched one of the most impactful and innovative tech companies today, Salesforce. Salesforce transformed sales with its suite of cloud-based tools, including a customer relationship management platform.

Other iconic launches from this year: Comscore, Shutterfly

Verizon | Entrepreneur


The millennium brought a wave of new innovation, and that expanded all the way to the transportation industry. In 2000, Antje Danielson and Robin Chase launched a subscription-based car-sharing company, Zipcar, moving away from the average car rental service.

Other iconic launches from this year: Verizon, eHarmony, Fandango, Stubhub, Spanx

The Sporting News | Getty Images | Entrepreneur


New technology affected nearly every industry by 2001. When it came to marketing and advertising, MailChimp helped make email marketing easier than ever, providing a service that helped send marketing emails, automated messages and specially targeted campaigns.

Other iconic launches from this year: Orbitz, Newegg, RVCA clothing

SpaceX | Entrepreneur


The 2000s were a time of innovation, and Elon Musk's SpaceX was founded as a way to revolutionize space technology and discover ways for people to live on other planets such as Mars.

Other iconic launches from this year: Anytime Fitness, GoPro, ModCloth

Nicki Dugan | Wikipedia | Entrepreneur


By 2003, people were becoming more and more environmentally-conscious. That same year, a group of engineers decided to launch a company that would create high-powered electric cars in order to replace gasoline powered ones -- that is, Tesla.

Other iconic launches from this year: Argo Tea, Wingstreet, Theranos, Wordpress, Myspace

Facebook | Entrepreneur


Spearheading the social media revolution was Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook. Initially launched from his Harvard dorm room, Zuckerberg created what is today the biggest social media website with more than two billion active users.

Other iconic launches from this year: Yelp, Tory Burch, KIND

Etsy | Entrepreneur


Joining the digital revolution of the 1990s and early 2000s was the world's first major video sharing website, YouTube. The first YouTube video ever posted was by YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim called "Me at the zoo."

Other iconic launches from this year: Etsy, Zillow, Pinkberry

Twitter | Entrepreneur


While more and more social media sites began emerging, Twitter was the next to join the digital bandwagon. Founder Jack Dorsey posted the first-ever tweet, "just setting up my twttr," on March 21, 2006.

Other iconic launches from this year: Spotify, SolarCity, TOMS

Related: When It Comes to Innovation, Go Big or Go Home

Fitbit | Entrepreneur


Throughout the aughts, health and fitness was a growing interest and concern for many. And at the forefront of the wearables industry was Fitbit, allowing people to easily track their daily health and fitness habits.

Other iconic launches from this year: iHeartMedia, Bonobos, Smashburger

Airbnb | Entrepreneur


With the financial crisis spiraling out of control, the entire country went into panic. However, that didn't stop businesses from launching. The same year, Brian Chesky, Nathan Blecharczyk and Joe Gebbia founded Airbnb, an inexpensive alternative to the average hotel.

Other iconic launches from this year: Hootsuite, Indiegogo, 16 Handles

Uber | Entrepreneur


The aughts were a time of innovation, and that extended to the transportation industry too. Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp launched ride-sharing service Uber, originally called UberCab, changing the way we think of transportation forever.

Other iconic launches from this year: Foursquare, Venmo, Kickstarter

WeWork | Entrepreneur


Joining the social media frenzy was Pinterest. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest was focused on inspiration rather than communication, letting people create boards, follow others and "pin" what they like on their profiles.

Other iconic launches from this year: Gett, Headspace, WeWork


Squatty Potty | Entrepreneur

Squatty Potty

By 2011, everything was becoming on-demand and businesses were focused on creating services and products that made life as easy and convenient as possible. Postmates, an on-demand food and products delivery service, connects customers with local couriers who deliver anything from a restaurant or store to someone's door within minutes.

Other iconic launches from this year: The Honest Company, Squatty Potty

Oculus | Kickstarter | Entrepreneur


Nearly everything was getting a digital makeover in the 2000s -- even dating. Tinder, which connected people in the same cities, launched in 2012 and allowed users to "swipe right" or "swipe left" on prospective dates' photos.

Other iconic launches from this year: Lyft, Canva, Oculus VR


Fabletics | Entrepreneur


Even when it came to furnishing your home, new companies were emerging with innovative solutions. Mattress company Casper, which offered comfortable mattresses at competitive prices and delivered in standard shipping boxes, came into the market.

Other iconic launches from this year: DoorDash, ClassPass, Oscar

Lola | Entrepreneur


By 2014, video began to skyrocket in popularity and people wanted more than just images and texts. One of the first major live video streaming services, Periscope, launched this year and let people broadcast live videos from their smartphones.

Other iconic launches from this year:, The League, Lola

Related: 5 Unique Ways to Build Your Brand Like the Big Companies Do

Eero via Blog | Entrepreneur


With the success of Uber, more and more ride-sharing companies began to emerge. To compete, Juno, another ride hailing startup, made its way onto the scene.

Other iconic launches from this year: Eero, Hollar, Away Luggage

Otto via Blog | Entrepreneur


The transportation industry has been getting major revamps over the past 10 years. And innovation continued into 2016 with Otto, a self-driving truck startup. Uber acquired Otto shortly after.

Other iconic launches from this year: Axios Media, Thrive Global, Grail