The man who created the Big Mac dies aged 98 after decades of eating at least one of his creations a week (but he preferred the Hotcakes and Sausage)
The Pittsburgh-area McDonald's franchisee who created the Big Mac nearly 50 years ago has died.
Michael 'Jim' Delligatti was 98.
McDonald's spokeswoman Kerry Ford confirmed that Delligatti died at home surrounded by his family on Monday night.
According to his son, Delligatti ate at least one 540-calorie Big Mac a week for decades.
Delligatti's franchise was based in Uniontown when in 1967 he invented the chain's signature burger with two all-beef patties, 'special sauce,' lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions on a sesame seed bun.
The Oak Brook, Illinois-based McDonald's resisted the idea at first because its simple lineup of hamburgers, cheeseburgers, fries and shakes was selling well.
But Delligatti wanted to offer a bigger burger and it went over so well it spread to the rest of Delligatti's 47 stores, then went national in 1968.
'I felt that we needed a big sandwich,' the Delligatti told Reuters in a 2007 interview. 'But you couldn't do anything unless they gave you permission.'
To Delligatti's delight, the product was 'an immediate success,' he said, adding that the recipe has not really changed in the 40 years.