Currently alive, at 81 years of age.
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1936 – Born Wallace Amos Jr., on July 1st, in Tallahassee, Florida. Entrepreneur and founder of Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Cookies.
1948 – Amos was sent to New York City to live with his Aunt Della, who often baked homemade chocolate chip and pecan cookies. – Amos’ penchant for cooking led him to enroll at the Food Trades Vocational High School, where he studied culinary arts for two years.
1957 – After a four-year stint in the U.S. Air Force, Amos returned to New York.
1962 – Amos became the first black talent agent in the history of the William Morris Agency.
1967 – Amos left William Morris and moved to Los Angeles, where he struggled to set up his own personal management company.
1968 – Burdened with the debt of his failing business, Amos began to take comfort in baking chocolate chip cookies.
1975 – Using a modified version of his Aunt Della’s recipe, he planned to open the first freestanding cookie store. With financial backing from singers like Gaye and an innovative marketing initiative, which included an extensive advertising campaign and a gala grand opening, the first Famous Amos store opened on Sunset Boulevard.
1979 – Married to Christine.
1985 – Mismanagement forced Amos to gradually sell off parts of his company.
1988 – A corporation called the Shansby Group purchased Famous Amos Cookies and successfully repositioned the brand image, changing it from a specialty item to a lower-priced product.
1991 – Amos attempted to launch another cookie company, which he called Wally Amos Presents Chip & Cookie.
1991 – The Shansby Group sued Amos for violating an agreement that forbade him to use his name and likeness on the packaging of any food products.
1998 – The Keebler Company purchased the Famous Amos brand, at which time Amos resumed his role as the product’s spokesperson.