Restaurateur and philanthropist Peter Buck, who co-founded the multinational fast food franchise Subway, has passed away at the age of 90.
Buck died on Nov. 18, according to a company statement, and the cause of his death was not immediately disclosed.
However, sources revealed to the New York Post that the founding billionaire had been ill for some time.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of one of the founders of Subway, Dr. Peter Buck,” Subway Managing Director John Chidsey said in a statement.
“He was a shining example of a dedicated and practical leader and an integral member of the Subway family. “
Buck was born in Maine in December 1930. He graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, in 1952. He went on to earn a master’s and doctorate in physics from Columbia University.
From 1957 to 1978, Buck worked as a nuclear physicist for several companies. In 1965, the restaurateur loaned $ 1,000 (£ 743) to his friend and family partner Fred DeLuca and advised him to open a sandwich shop to help pay his school fees.
They named the restaurant after Buck, calling it “Pete’s Super Submarines”.
Together, Buck and DeLuca formed “Doctor’s Associates” to manage the restaurant operations as the establishment grows.
By 1973 the duo had 16 stores across Connecticut, and in 1974 they began franchising the restaurants. They also introduced a new Subway logo and changed the name of their operation from what was then “Pete’s Subway” to “Subway Sandwiches”.
DeLuca died in 2015, after announcing in 2013 that he was being treated for leukemia.
Buck was ranked number 261 on the Forbes 400 list of richest people, with an estimated net worth of $ 1.6 billion. The businessman lived in Brookfield, Connecticut, and was married to Carmen Lucia, who died in 2003.