The McDonald’s franchise-owner who invented the fast food chain’s signature Big Mac has died at the age of 98.
The Associated Press reports that Michael “Jim” Delligatti, who introduced the menu item 49 years ago, died on Monday night.
Delligatti created the Big Mac in 1967 at his Uniontown, Pennsylvania, franchise. As he told the AP in 2006, McDonald’s was at first hesitant to take on the burger — consisting of two beef patties on a sesame-seed bun, with “special sauce,” lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions — because their traditional menu items were already selling well.
Delligatti managed to convince the company, however, and it’s become one of the brand’s most recognizable items.
According to ABC News, in 2007 Delligatti and his family even opened a museum dedicated to the Big Mac in North Huntington, Pennsylvania. The museum is home to the “world’s biggest Big Mac replica.”