With 11 hospitals to its name, HCA offers 500,000 initial shares on the NYSE. This decision lends the company immediate credibility and solidifies it as something the nation has never seen before. In the process, cofounder Jack Massey becomes the first entrepreneur to take three companies public on the NYSE: HCA, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Volunteer Capital Corp. — a holding company of the Wendy’s fast-food chain.

HCA will go on to lead the industry in the development of inventive hospital financing models, including going private and public several times over its nearly 50 year history. The company will complete the largest leveraged buyout (LBO) ever in 2006 valued at $21 billion.