Tom Monaghan was born in Ann Arbor in 1937. His father died four years later, ushering in a childhood spent largely in an orphanage and a...
Tom Monaghan was born in Ann Arbor in 1937. His father died four years later, ushering in a childhood spent largely in an orphanage and a succession of foster homes. After graduating from Ann Arbor’s St. Thomas High School in 1955, and enrolling at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan, Monaghan enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1956. Honorably discharged three years later, he returned to Ann Arbor, where he enrolled at the University of Michigan.
While still a student, Monaghan founded Domino’s Pizza. He and his brother, James, borrowed $900 to buy a small pizza store called DomiNick’s in Ypsilanti. He later bought his brother’s share of the business, and opened additional stores in Ann Arbor and Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. By 1998, Domino’s had 6,250 stores, and ranked as the world’s largest pizza delivery chain, pioneering a number of industry innovations inspired by Monaghan.
The story behind Domino’s Pizza (including the many obstacles and setbacks Monaghan overcame and the path he took to success) was compiled for the first time in his 1986 autobiography, Pizza Tiger, published by Random House. He sold Domino’s Pizza in 1998 to Bain Capital, Inc., leaving behind its day-to-day operations, which he had overseen for 38 years.
Monaghan has received honorary degrees from twelve universities around the country, and in March of 2000, he was named an Honorary Fellow of Magdalene College within Britain’s University of Cambridge.
Monaghan and his wife, Marjorie, have four daughters and eight grandchildren.