10 Previously Unpublished Photos Of The REAL Colonel Sanders

06/03/2015 02:22 pm ET | Updated Jun 10, 2015

KFC's Colonel Sanders has been resurrected in comedic new ads fronted by "Saturday Night Live" funnyman Darrell Hammond. It's a fresh PR move for a fast-food chain that began as a small cafe in 1930, and comes on the heels of McDonald's new Hamburglar ad campaign.

KFC unveiled the new Sanders as a grinning, overly patriotic caricature who shares some obvious personality traits with George W. Bush.

But there was a real Colonel Sanders, a stylish businessman who owned more than 200 custom canes and really did wear that iconic white suit everywhere he went for the last few decades of his life.

"There’s no way to replace Colonel Sanders, so we wanted to bring back his entrepreneurial spirit," Kevin Hochman, CMO of KFC U.S., told The Huffington Post. "He was feisty, original but still pragmatic and would call things as he saw them. In the tapes, video and writings we saw a real sense of humor."

Hochman said there's a "treasure trove" of Sanders memorabilia in an underground facility in Louisville, Kentucky, and shared some old photos of the real Sanders exclusively with The Huffington Post. They prove that Hammond really nails the look in the new commercials.

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    Colonel Sanders hard at work in the kitchen wearing his signature black ribbon tie underneath his apron (circa 1970).
  • KFC
    Colonel Sanders rides in a horse and buggy (circa 1960).
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    Dressed in a white conductor-style jumpsuit, Colonel Sanders steps off a locomotive with the help of his wife (circa 1960).
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    Colonel Sanders oversees his famous Kentucky Fried Chicken as it cooks in the kitchen (circa 1970).
  • KFC
    Colonel Sanders taste tests one of his Kentucky Fried Chicken recipes (circa 1970).
  • KFC
    Colonel Sanders sitting in a park (circa 1960).
  • Colonel Sanders proudly displays photo of Sanders Café next to “Birthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken” sign (circa 1970).
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    Colonel Sanders stands in front of a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant (circa 1960).
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    Colonel Sanders poses in his signature white suit with hands raised (circa 1970).
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    Colonel Sanders shows off a bucket of his award-winning Original Recipe Kentucky Fried Chicken (circa 1970).

BONUS: Here's footage of Sanders when he made an appearance on the TV game show "What's My Line?" in 1963. In it, a panel tries to guess what Sanders does for a living, and Sanders belts out that his chicken is "finger lickin' good!"

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