But of course Harlan Sanders was a very real person. And a real Kentucky Colonel, although that's largely an honorary title, having as much stature as Leonardo DiCapprio standing on the bow of the Titanic and proclaiming himself, "King of the World."
Not only is Col. Sanders real, but amazing as it seems, time was when he wasn't especially iconic at all, but rather just starting out. And here he is on What's My Line? -- the real Col. Sanders. And not only not iconic, but not even a Mystery Guest, and instead able to be introduced by his real name and no blindfolds on the panelists.