The Rags-to-Riches Story of Tom Monaghan: Founder of Domino’s Pizza

On March 25 in the year 1937, one of the entrepreneurs who found wealth in the food business was born in Michigan, USA. His name is Thomas Stephen “Tom” Monaghan, the founder of Domino’s Pizza. Various estimates show his net worth at $600 million.

Tom Monaghan
Tom Monaghan (Photo Credit:

Tom Monaghan’s father passed away when he was only four years old. He then grew up under the care of his mother who later put him and his brother in an orphanage run by Catholic nuns. Wanting to be a priest, he entered the seminary only to be expelled for some misdeeds. From 1956 to 1959, he joined the US Marine Corps. Returning to Michigan, he enrolled at the University of Michigan, intending to be an architect someday. Then, somebody swindled him in a promised oil investment. He lost so much of his savings but he was not discouraged. In 1960, he and his brother purchased a small pizza store, named DomiNick’s. The business was promising but it was losing money. So, he dropped out of university to devote more time to business chores. After all, he aimed to finance his studies from the earnings of the business.

Tom Monaghan and his brother made a business plan to include home, office and school delivery not only in their hometown of Ann Arbor but also in the nearby towns. They also improved the packaging in order maintain the freshness of their pizza during delivery. Next, they opened the business for franchising. By 1965, there were three branches and renamed all of them Domino’s Pizza.

By the 1980s, there were a thousand stores of Domino’s Pizza in US and Canada. Tom Monaghan became one of the wealthiest Americans and it showed. His lavish lifestyle included building a huge mansion, acquiring a jet plane, and owning several expensive cars. Then one day, he decided it was enough. He wanted to go back to his roots, to his Catholic upbringing. In 1998, Domino’s Pizza was sold to Bain Capital for about $1 billion.

Tom Monaghan has four children with wife Marjorie. In 2003, he used millions of his capital to build the Ave Maria catholic town in Florida complete with a Catholic Church and a Catholic University.


Any comment?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.