Jim Delligatti, the inventor of the well sought after Mickey D’s Big Mac, died on Monday at the age of 98.
Born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, on August 2,1918, Michael James Delligatti was the son of a candy maker and shoe cobbler. He enlisted in the US Army after graduating from high school in Uniontown, and Fairmont, West Virginia. After serving in World War II, he moved to California and worked in several drive thru restaurants.
He was a part owner of the Delney’s Drive-In restaurant, but in 1955 while at a restaurant trade show in Chicago he met the founder of McDonald’s, Mr. Ray Kroc. He became a franchise owner of the renowned fast food chain, and opened the first MacDonald’s franchise in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The McDonald’s franchise owner, in 1967, felt that something was lacking from the day-to-day menu. He invented the big Mac, which became the most sought after novelty food on the fast food menu.
In fact, a measly $0.45 cents were the cost of the big Mac in the 1960’s. But today the popular food item sells for almost a whopping $5.00, and is still a hit as it was back in the early days.
The delicious hamburger made with two sesame seed bun along with two beef patties, pickles, onions, lettuce, cheese and onions, became a hit in the 1960’s.
With its popularity quickly spreading throughout the country; the MacDonald’s franchise the Big Mac to its menu in 1968.
The big Mac inventor, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, stated that “This wasn’t like discovering the lightbulb.” “The bulb was already there. All I did was screw it in the socket.”
Notably, today his brilliant initiative had set the fast food giant on a profitable and long running path in offering a better choice of foods on its menu, rather than sticking to the basic soft drinks, fries, shakes and hamburgers.