Fred DeLuca, the co-founder of Subway Sandwich chain has died at the age of 67, the company confirmed Tuesday.
DeLuca and his partner Peter Buck opened their first submarine sandwich shop in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1965. DeLuca was 17 years old at the time. He celebrated Subway’s 50th anniversary just a few weeks ago.
In 2013, DeLuca was diagnosed with Leukemia and since then had been receiving treatment. He recently named his sister, Suzanne Greco, as President to run the company’s daily operations.
Subway posted on its website a video of DeLuca’s story, from his “humble beginnings” to the creation of a world’s largest fast food chain.
In the video, the company describes DeLuca as an ambitious businessman, who started out with nothing: “While growing up in Brooklyn, he would often collect soda bottles to turn them into deposit so he could buy comic books. Then once he read comics, he would sell them to other kids so he could buy more.”
DeLuca borrowed $1,000 from his partner Peter Buck to open their first sandwich shop in 1965.
Subway is the largest fast food restaurant chain in the world with 44,269 outlets in 110 countries.