Jim Delligatti, Big Mac Inventor at McDonald’s Chain, Dies at 98



Jim Delligatti, Big Mac Inventor at McDonald’s Chain, Dies at 98

Jim Delligatti, a McDonald’s Corp. franchisee who in 1967 introduced the Big Mac sandwich that quickly spread throughout the world’s biggest restaurant chain, has died. He was 98.He died Nov. 28 in Pittsburgh, the Oak Brook, Illinois-based company said in an e-mailed statement.

After Delligatti started selling the Big Mac in his Uniontown, Pennsylvania, franchise, McDonald’s introduced it nationally in 1968. On the product’s 40th anniversary, the company said it was selling 550 million Big Macs a year. The sandwich – two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions in a sesame seed bun – hasn’t changed. The chain is experimenting with Sriracha Big Macs, as well as small and large versions for its menu.
Delligatti never revealed his recipe for the special sauce. “If I told you it wouldn’t be a secret,” he said in a 1993 interview with Bloomberg News. Big Macs are sold in more that 100 countries around the world.

McDonald’s was initially reluctant to embrace the Big Mac, according to Delligatti. “They felt they had everything they needed at the time,” he said. After franchisees in Toledo, Ohio, embraced the new product, the company introduced the Big Mac nationwide.
Dellgatti was also instrumental in introducing breakfast service at the chain, including hotcakes and sausages he fed to hungry steelworkers on their way home from Pittsburgh-area steel mills, according to a family obituary. He owned more than 40 McDonald’s locations in western Pennsylvania.

Hey, the inventor lived to 98, how bad could it be? :smiley:


It’s hard for me to imagine McDonalds without its signature sandwich, the Big Mac. Only it doesn’t seem so big anymore.


One wonders how much he partook of his creation!

Hopefully Purgatory will soon have a McDonalds!!!

Economists also owe him a :thumbsup::thumbsup: as where would they be without the “Big Mac Index”???

Grace be upon him and ICXC NIKA.

EEeeww, I hope he repeented before he dAAAIEDd over the MEELLIONS of children who had become obEEESe beeecoze of his BEEG meyak!

The Big Mac (and the double Quarter Pounder with cheese). Two of the joys of this world.

Ninety eight. Wow. Proof that the Big Mac is a health food. There is no other reasonable conclusion.

Long live the Big Mac! (and the double QP!).


I personally think the special sauce is 1000 Island dressing.


RIP. The world has lost an artist.

Hopefully heaven will gain a chef.


Thats because our definition of ‘big’ has changed drastically in recent years. There are many fast food joints that pile 3 and 4 patties into one burger, 4 slices of cheese, bacon, etc etc!

I also remember a 32 oz soda being considered ‘super size’ or ‘big gulp’, nowadays though, 32 oz is usually a medium size, at our convenience stores, ‘big gulp’ now means 52 oz or even some locations that have 64oz fountain drinks!!! A Whooper burger from Burger king used to be considered a HUGE burger, but lately BK has added a double and triple whopper, (2-3 patties)…see where this is going?

So what is ‘super size’ going to be in another 10 yrs? LOL


I just had a Quarter Pounder with cheese the other night.

Every once in awhile, I get a taste for one of them. They were my favorite fast food burger when I was younger, and I still like them. I will also eat a Big Mac once in awhile, too. :slight_smile:


Hi Mary Gail,

I always thought that it was, too. :slight_smile:


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