'Jim' Delligatti: Inventor of the Big Mac dies aged 98
Michael "Jim" Delligatti, the man who invented the iconic Big Mac, has died aged 98.
Mr Delligatti, who created arguably the best-known fast-food sandwich in the world nearly 50 years ago, died at his home in Pittsburgh on November 28.
McDonald’s posted a tribute to the Big Mac creator, tweeting: “Today, we celebrate the 98 inspirational years of Big Mac inventor, Michael ‘Jim’ Delligatti. Jim, we thank and will forever remember you.”
They shared a photo of him proudly holding two Big Macs in the air and his quote: “I would never have dreamed that my creation would turn into a piece of Americana.”
Mr Delligatti came up with the idea of putting two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun in 1967, responding to a demand for a bigger burger.
He ate at least one 540-calorie Big Mac a week for decades, according to the fast-food fan’s son.
"He was often asked why he named it the Big Mac, and he said because Big Mc sounded too funny," his son Michael Delligatti said.
McDonald's has sold billions of Big Macs worldwide, an estimated 550 million Big Macs a year, or roughly 17 every second.
"Jim Delligatti was a legendary franchisee within McDonald's system who made a lasting impression on our brand," the Illinois-based company said in a statement.
"We will remember Jim as an insightful franchisee, a knowledgeable businessman, and an honourable gentleman who left a legacy of four generations of family members running great restaurants in Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
The Big Mac "has become an iconic sandwich enjoyed by many around the world", they added.
In an interview with Reuters in 2007, Mr Delligatti said: “The first day we just used the regular bun, we didn’t have any centre slice.
Today, we celebrate the 98 inspirational years of Big Mac inventor, Michael "Jim" Delligatti. Jim, we thank and will forever remember you. pic.twitter.com/wmEFrmazdn— McDonald's (@McDonalds) November 30, 2016
"Making it that way made it very sloppy. The next day we put the centre slice in, and today it looks the same."
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