The Big Mac creator, McDonald’s franchisee Michael James “Jim” Delligatti, has died aged 98.
He invented arguably the world’s most famous the burger in 1967 because his customers wanted more than the traditional hamburger. However at the time his iconic invention was almost rejected by McDonald’s who were happy with the more limited menu at the time. Billions of Big Macs have since been sold but Mr Delligatti received nothing in royalties.
Mr Deligatti, whose restaurant was in Uniontown, Pittsburgh was quoted as saying “I would never have dreamed that my creation would turn into a piece of Americana.” His son, also named Michael, told Associated Press that he called it the Big Mac because “Big Mc sounded too funny”.
Mr Delligatti also helped introduce breakfast service at McDonald’s, developing the hotcakes and sausage meal to feed hungry steelworkers on their way home from overnight shifts in the mills, his family said.
In a statement, Mr Delligatti’s family said he was a “spirited and generous philanthropist” who had helped refugee families get treatment for their children. McDonald’s said that he was a “legendary franchisee” who had made a “lasting impression”.