I was kind of sad to hear it. While I didn't know the man, I have seen interviews with him in the past, and, of course, his many commercials. I respect Wendy's as an example of what entrepreneurship is supposed to be like in a free market economy. They were able to carve out a niche for themselves by providing a superior product. Thomas said on a show I saw on the History Channel over the holidays that if he'd asked friends for advice, he never would've done it because they would've all told him it couldn't be done; that it was impossible to compete with McDonald's. Still, he liked burgers the way they used to be, and thought others might like them, too. He was certainly right.
Wendy's success wasn't based on buying out competition before it even existed *cough* Microsoft *cough*. They succeeded the old-fashioned way by making a good thing, and improved the burger chain business as a whole by forcing competitors to offer a greater product line, thus improving the general state of things for consumers. It's the way it's supposed to be done.