Peter Buck death: Subway’s last surviving co-founder dies at the age of 90

Before becoming a restaurateur, Buck worked as a nuclear physicist for several companies

Peony Hirwani
Saturday 20 November 2021 05:24

Restaurateur and philanthropist Peter Buck, who co-founded the multi-national fast-food restaurant franchise Subway, has died at the age of 90.

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

However, sources revealed to the New York Post that the billionaire founder had been ill for quite some time.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of one of Subway’s founders, Dr Peter Buck,” Subway Chief Executive John Chidsey told the outlet in a statement.

“He was a shining example of a dedicated, hands-on 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 then acquired a master’s and doctoral degrees in physics at Columbia University.

From 1957 to 1978, Buck worked as a nuclear physicist for several companies. In 1965, the restaurateur lent $1,000 (£743) to his family friend and partner Fred DeLuca and advised him to open a sandwich shop to help pay for his college tuition.

They named the restaurant after Buck, calling it “Pete’s Super Submarines.”

Together, Buck and DeLuca shaped “Doctor’s Associates” to manage the activities of the restaurants as the establishment expanded.

By 1973, the duo had 16 shops throughout Connecticut and, in 1974, they began franchising out 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 wealthiest 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.

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