Cre­ator of McDon­ald’s flag­ship sand­wich, the Big Mac, dies

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OBITUARIES - By Joe Man­dak

You prob­a­bly don’t know his name, but you’ve al­most cer­tainly de­voured his cre­ation: two all­beef pat­ties, spe­cial sauce, let­tuce, cheese, pick­les, onions, on a sesame seed bun.

Michael James “Jim” Del­li­gatti, the McDon­ald’s fran­chisee who cre­ated the Big Mac nearly 50 years ago and saw it be­come per­haps the best-known fast-food sand­wich in the world, died Mon­day at home in Pitts­burgh. Del­li­gatti, who ac­cord­ing to his son ate at least one 540-calo­rie Big Mac a week for decades, was 98.

Del­li­gatti’s fran­chise was based in Union­town, not far from Pitts­burgh, when he in­vented the chain’s sig­na­ture burger in 1967 af­ter de­cid­ing cus­tomers wanted a big­ger sand­wich. De­mand ex­ploded as Del­li­gatti’s sand­wich spread to the rest of his 47 stores in Penn­syl­va­nia and was added to the chain’s na­tional menu in 1968.

“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.

How­ever, McDon­ald’s in 1985 hon­ored Es­ther Glick­stein Rose with com­ing up for a name for the burger and pre­sented her with a plaque etched with a like­ness of the best-sell­ing sand­wich and french fries be­tween the Golden Arches.


Big Mac cre­ator Michael “Jim” Del­li­gatti.

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