DANBURY, Connecticut (AP) – Peter Buck, whose $ 1,000 investment in a family friend’s Connecticut sandwich shop in 1965 spawned what is now the largest restaurant chain in the country. world – Subway – has passed away. He was 90 years old.
Buck, a nuclear physicist born in Portland, Maine, in 1930, died in a hospital in Danbury, Connecticut on November 18, Subway said in a statement. The cause of his death has not been disclosed.
At 17, family friend Fred DeLuca asked Buck how he could earn money to help pay for his education. Buck’s response? Open a sandwich shop.
In 1965, he and DeLuca opened “Pete’s Super Submarines” in Bridgeport, the most expensive sandwich selling for 69 cents.
The duo changed the name to “Subway” three years later and decided to make it a franchise chain – a move that would ultimately make them both billionaires. Forbes estimated Buck’s net worth at $ 1.7 billion. DeLuca died in 2015 at the age of 67.
Subway says it now has over 40,000 locations worldwide, surpassing McDonald’s and Starbucks.
“We haven’t made a profit for 15 years,” Buck told the Wall Street Journal in 2014.
When asked if he thought the chain would get so big, he told the newspaper: “Well I always thought we were going to get bigger and bigger, but I really didn’t have a number in mind. “
As a physicist, Buck was hired by General Electric in 1957 at a laboratory in Schenectady, New York, and worked on atomic power plants for submarines and ships in the United States Navy. He then worked for United Nuclear in White Plains, New York, and Nuclear Energy Services in Danbury, where he made his home, according to an obituary prepared by his family.
He also pursued philanthropy, making large donations to numerous organizations, including the Smithsonian Institution, to which he donated a 23-carat ruby named after his second wife, Carmen Lucia Buck, in 2004.