John Schnatter

John Schnatter was born on November 23, 1961, in Jeffersonville, Indiana. He’s the founder of the Papa John’s pizza restaurant chain, which was established in 1984. He stepped down as the company’s C.E.O. in 2018 following a controversy involving the N.F.L. national anthem protests, which also resulted in the N.F.L. canceling all ties with the company. Schnatter was also removed as the chairman of the board of directors in 2018 following an offensive comment made during a meeting that later became public.

Fast Facts

Full Name:

John Schnatter


Papa John

Birth date:

November 23, 1961



Zodiac Sign:



5' 10"

Relationship Status:


Net Worth:

$1 billion

John's Social Media:


John Hampton Schnatter, the founder of the Papa John’s pizza restaurant chain, was born on November 23, 1961, in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

In 1984, Schnatter sold his car and bought used restaurant equipment to start a business making pizza at the back of his father’s tavern. He began selling pizzas to the customers that would visit the tavern. His business took off in its first year, after which he was able to rent a space of his own to convert into a proper pizza restaurant. His company went public in 1993. By the following year, his business had been so successful that Schnatter was able to open a total of 500 stores across the country. Schnatter moved his company to Louisville, Kentucky in the late 1990s, and by 1997, Papa John’s had a total of 1,500 stores across the United States.

Schnatter’s involvement with Papa John’s ended in 2018. He stepped down as C.E.O. after criticizing the N.F.L.’s response to the national anthem protests, which generated bad press for the company, as well as tanking its branding deals with the N.F.L. Later that year, his use of a racial slur in a private meeting was leaked, which resulted in his termination from the board of directors.

Career timeline

Papa John’s is Born

Schnatter starts selling pizzas out of the back of his father’s tavern.

Going Public

Papa John’s goes public.

Papa John’s Peak

The Papa John’s restaurant chain has a total of 1,500 stores across the United States.

His Retirement

Schnatter retires as C.E.O. of Papa John’s.

Why We Love John Schnatter

  1. His love for his car

    Schnatter loved his car and it’s sad that he had to sell it to help his father in the early 1990s. Years later, he offered a reward of $250,000 to anyone who could help him locate the car. He inevitably found it and, in celebration, offered free pizzas to anyone driving a Camaro.

  2. His drive

    Schnatter is an amazing entrepreneur with a drive like no other. Not many people could create a successful business that, within a year, has spread across the United States with 500 locations.

  3. His contributions to charity

    Schnatter has done much in terms of charity work in his career. Most notably, he has donated more than $9 million to colleges and schools to improve infrastructure and provide better education to their students.

5 Surprising Facts

  1. His ancestry

    Schnatter has German ancestry.

  2. His return as C.E.O.

    Although Schnatter originally stepped down as C.E.O. in 2005, he returned in 2008 and 2010 for brief periods.

  3. His car

    Schnatter reacquired the car he sold to start his business after offering a reward for it.

  4. Replica’s of his car

    Papa John’s owns several replicas of Scnatter’s original Camaro that are used for tours at their headquarters.

  5. His wife

    Schnatter and his wife had been separated for eight months before finally filing for divorce.

John Schnatter FAQs

Is Papa John a billionaire?

Yes, he is.

Who is the owner of Papa John's now?

It isn’t clear but Schnatter is looking to buy into the company again.

Does Shaq own Papa John's?

He owns nine franchise units.

John Schnatter’s birthday dates

2024November 23Saturday
2025November 23Sunday
2026November 23Monday
2027November 23Tuesday
2028November 23Thursday

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