At left: Wendy’s Founder Dave Thomas, one of America’s most well-known adopted children, was a famous advocate for the adoption of children with special needs.

Everyone knows by now that Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computer who passed away this fall, was an adopted child. He joins hundreds of other adopted celebrities who have gone down in history for their accomplishments in sports, science, the arts, politics, and other fields.

Singers Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and Buffy Saint Marie, politician Bill Clinton, civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, Olympic medalists Scott Hamilton, Kitty and Peter Carruthers, Greg Louganis, author Truman Capote, and comedian Art Linkletter were all adopted…just to name a few. Of course, adopted notables aren’t new. Philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BC) was an adopted child. And a simple Internet search will reveal lists of the many hundreds of celebreties who have adopted one or more children, and those who have relinquished children for adoption.

Entrepreneur Dave Thomas, shown here, was an adopted child who dropped out of high school but later went on to found the Wendy’s Restaurant chain. He is widely recognized for his lifelong advocacy for the adoption of special needs children, and was a major force behind the creation of National Adoption Awareness Month.

Thomas died in 2002 but the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK) program, which promotes adoption of children with the greatest needs, continues to grow. Kinship Center is a WWK partner in Southern California, and was recently awarded the first Spotlight Award from the Dave Thomas Foundation for exceptional adoption, foster care, kinship care, and children’s and family mental health programs, and for its model education for parents and professionals.

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