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Subway’s Last Surviving Founder, Billionaire Peter Buck, Dead At 90

By News Creatives Authors , in Billionaires , at November 19, 2021

Peter Buck, the billionaire cofounder of Subway, one of the largest restaurant chains in the world, has died at 90 years old. 

Buck died on November 18, according to a statement from the company. His cause of death was not immediately revealed. 

Subway CEO John Chidsey praised the late founder as “a shining example of a dedicated, hands-on leader and an integral member of the Subway family,” remembering how he helped grow the behemoth chain from “a singular sandwich shop in Bridgeport, Connecticut.” 

Buck gave the chain its wings by making the crucial investment of $1,000 to his friend’s son, Fred DeLuca, in 1965. Then working as a nuclear physicist, Buck figured the sub shop could help pay the 17-year-old high school graduate’s way through college. DeLuca used the money to launch “Pete’s Subway Submarines,” named in Buck’s honor. 

Later renamed “Subway,” the business grew over the next few decades to more than 40,000 locations. Today, it battles McDonald’s as the world’s largest food chain—and wins based on the number of locations. McDonald’s has it beat on revenue though, tallying over $19 billion in 2020 compared to the $689.1 million collected by Subway’s parent firm Doctors Associates. Because nearly every Subway location is franchised, this revenue figure doesn’t capture the full amount of money spent at Subway locations worldwide. 

DeLuca died in 2015 at age 67, having been diagnosed with leukemia two years prior. He was worth an estimated $3.5 billion at his death and passed control of the company to his sister, Suzanne Greco, who served as Subway’s CEO until June 2018. 

Buck, for his part, accumulated an estimated $1.7 billion by his time of death. The Maine native was also a  philanthropist, donating $216 million over the past five years toward his PCLB Foundation, which supports organizations focused on family issues.


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