Jane Dobbins Green: Ray Kroc’s Second Wife Was Overlooked in McDonald’s Documentary

By AtticusPublished on: July 10, 2024 Updated on: July 10, 2024
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Ray Kroc is best known for his innovations at McDonald’s and his marriage to Joan Kroc, which often overshadows his time with his second wife, Jane Dobbins Green.

Jane, who was John Wayne’s secretary before meeting Ray, had a gentle and easygoing nature. This provided Ray with a comforting contrast to his other more intense relationships.

Their relationship progressed rapidly; dinners led to marriage within weeks, a whirlwind union that occurred during a complicated period in Ray’s life. At this time, Ray had already met and fallen for Joan, who was then married to her first husband.

Despite their strong connection, marital commitments posed a barrier. After Ray divorced his first wife, Ethel Fleming, whom he had been with since 1922, Joan did not immediately follow suit in her marriage.

Ray Kroc and his second wife Joan
Ray Kroc and his second wife Joan

This interim led to Ray’s marriage to Jane in 1963, with Ray observing his burgeoning empire from their Woodland Hills home overlooking a McDonald’s store.

However, the marriage was shadowed by Ray’s unresolved feelings for Joan, making his life with Jane more of a placeholder than a partnership. The relationship ended in 1968, clearing the path for Ray’s subsequent marriage to Joan the following year. Jane and Ray didn’t have children together.

She Wasn’t Credited in Ray’s Documentary

The 2016 documentary The Founder focuses on Kroc’s role in the expansion and success of McDonald’s, capturing his ambitious drive and complex relationships.

Despite its detailed portrayal of his business acumen and interactions with his first and third wives, the film notably omits any mention of Ray’s second wife, Jane.

This exclusion is significant as Jane’s presence in Ray’s life represented a distinct period, yet it remains unexplored in the documentary.

Her absence in the narrative leaves a gap in understanding the full scope of Ray’s personal life during a transformative era for McDonald’s.

Her First Husband Died At 81

Jane’s first husband, Ray passed away on January 14, 1984, in San Diego, California, at the age of 81. His death was attributed to heart failure, which occurred three years after suffering a stroke that necessitated his stay in an alcohol rehabilitation facility. He was buried at El Camino Memorial Park in Sorrento Valley, San Diego.

At the time of his death, Kroc’s net worth was estimated at $600 million, which amounts to more than a billion dollars today after inflation adjustments. This fortune was inherited by his third wife, Joan Kroc, who was deeply involved in philanthropy.

Her efforts were particularly focused on peace promotion and nuclear nonproliferation, and upon her death in 2003, her estimated net worth of $2.7 billion was largely distributed to various non-profit organizations. Notable donations included $1.5 billion to The Salvation Army for the establishment of 26 Kroc Centers and $200 million to National Public Radio.

Jane Was Married To Second Husband For Over A Decade Before Her Death

Green, recognized primarily for her marriage to Ray Kroc, passed away on August 7, 2000, at the age of 88.

She was born on November 22, 1911, in Walla Walla, Washington, to parents Warren David Dobbins and Grace Myrtle Duncan Frechette. Her final resting place is Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California.

Jane’s later years were spent with her second husband, Paul D. Whitney, whom she married in 1984. Their marriage continued until her death in 2000. Paul passed away in 2008. The details of her life and death are documented on the Find A Grave website, which serves as a resource for those looking to find information about the deceased and their burial sites.

She’s Often Mistaken for Famous British-American Author

Despite the similarity in names, Jane Dobbins Green was never an author. Known primarily as a Hollywood socialite, she is frequently confused with Jane Green, an English-born American author renowned for her contributions to commercial women’s fiction.

British-American author Jane Green
British-American author Jane Green

This mix-up has led to numerous incorrect mentions in online tabloids, attributing literary achievements to Jane Dobbins that actually belong to another.

The actual author, Jane Green, born in 1968, is a celebrated novelist whose books have sold over 10 million copies worldwide, translated into thirty-one languages. Her literary repertoire includes popular titles like Bookends (2002), Straight Talking: A Novel, and Spellbound (also known as To Have and To Hold in the US).

About Author: Atticus

Atticus boasts more than seven years of expertise as a writer specializing in the entertainment sector. He possesses a profound knowledge of film, music, and television, crafting compelling stories that engage a wide-ranging audience. His writing is both accessible and enlightening, simplifying intricate subjects for readers from various walks of life.