John Schnatter Biography & Net Worth


John Schnatter Biography & Net Worth

Popular Name: John Schnatter
Real Name: John H. Schnatter
Birth Date: November 22, 1961
Birth Place:
Jeffersonville, Indiana,

United States

Age: 59
Gender: Male
Nationality: American
Height: 178 cm
Weight: 75 kg
Sexuality: Straight
Marital Status: Married
Annette Cox (m. 1987; sep. 2019)
Children: 3
Profession: Businessman
Years active: 1984–2018
Net Worth: $1 Billion
Last Updated: 2021


John Schnatter, nicknamed commercially as Papa John, is a successful  American entrepreneur and businessman who founded Papa John’s Pizza way back in 1984. He started the business on a small scale from the back of his father’s inn after he sold his car and bought restaurant equipment with the proceeds.

Papa John Schnatter’s Early Life & Education

Papa John was born John H. Schnatter on November 22, 1961, in Jeffersonville, Indiana, the United States to Mary and Robert Schnatter. His father, Robert, was a judge in Jeffersonville, while his mother was a real estate agent. He has German ancestry.

In 1979, John graduated from Jeffersonville High School and advanced to Ball State University where he received a business degree.

Career & Businesses

In the 1980s, John’s father co-owned Mick’s Lounge, an inn in Jeffersonville. In 1984, when his father’s business was drowning, John sold his hard-earned Camaro to save the business. After paying the employees and settling the debt, he decided to put the $1,600 that was left behind to good use and refurbished a broom closet behind his father’s inn into a pizza place selling lip-smacking pizzas to the inn’s eager customers. His pizzas became an instant hit, and within a year, he acquired a larger and more suitable place for his business.

Now in 2021, Papa John’s Pizza is one of the most popular and leading pizza delivery and outtake restaurant businesses in the United States with nearly 5000 branches in America and 50 other countries around the world. Following his enormous success, John Schnatter repurchased his beloved Camaro in 2009 for $250,000, and put it on display at the headquarters of Papa John’s Pizza in Louisville, Kentucky, and has become more like a mascot for the company.

Papa John Schnatter net worth
Papa John Schnatter

In all these years, John Schnatter has stayed true to his business tagline ‘Better ingredients, Better Pizza’, and has continued to delight his customers with the unmatched quality and better offers that are available in his restaurant. His business is the first pizza restaurant chain in the U.S. to introduce online ordering back in 2001. It is, perhaps, this exquisite mix of quality and modern technology that has enabled Papa John’s Pizza to achieve extraordinary success worldwide.

Awards & Achievements

  • National Ernst & Young Retail/Consumer Entrepreneur of The Year – 1998
  • National Jaycees Organization’s Outstanding Young American – 2000
  • Inducted into the Junior Achievement United States Business Hall of Fame – 2007
  • Honorary chair of the Ride to Conquer Cancer benefiting Louisville’s Norton Cancer Institute – 2009
  • Inducted into Kentucky’s Entrepreneur Hall of Fame – 2010
  • Honorary initiate of Alpha Tau Omega – 2012

Personal life

In 1987, John and Annette Cox tied the knot and lived in Anchorage, until their divorce in 2019. They have three children together.

Though he is known as a successful businessman, Papa John has also been a subject of unpleasant scandals in the past. He was accused of stalking and harassing a woman in 1999. In his defense, he claimed that the woman was making such false allegations against him so she could extort him for $5 million. The situation ended with a private settlement. He was also accused of sexual misconduct involving a female marketing employee in 2009, resulting in a confidential settlement.

Schnatter expressed controversial views during his tenure at the helm of the business in Papa John’s. He stepped down as chief executive officer in January 2018, after the controversy around his remarks that the National Football League who had a business affiliation with his restaurant, had not done its best to stop national anthem protests by league players, and that their protests had hurt his business. He stepped down from his position of CEO after his comments led to the NFL canceling its alliance with Papa John’s.

After stepping down from the CEO position, Schnatter remained on the board of directors as its chairman until July 2018, when he used a racial smear for black people during a sensitivity-training conference call. Schnatter resigned when the comment went viral but has since maintained that the board connived against him and unjustly forced him out of his position.

Papa John Schnatter Net Worth

Schnatter lives in a 40,000 square foot mansion located within an elite Louisville, Kentucky country club. The house is said to worth around $7-10 million and features a 22 car multi-level garage, a golf course, several pools, and a private lake.

As of January 2021, John Schnatter’s net worth had reached a respectable record of $1 billion, courtesy of his prosperous pizza restaurant chain. His remarks about the NFL in 2017 resulted in his company’s loss of about $70 million in revenue. However, after dropping to a net worth of $801 million, he bounced back, corrected his mistake, and has now taken a place among billionaires.

John Schantter’s journey is a typical example of a rags-to-riches story and despite his losses in the past, John himself is hopeful of a brilliant future for his company. Papa John’s Pizza is one of the most popular and leading pizza delivery and outtake restaurant businesses in the United States with nearly 5000 branches in America and 50 other countries around the world. If the company stays committed to serving people quality pizzas, it can withstand any problems that might befall it in time to come.

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