In this Aug. 21, 2008, file photo, Big Mac creator Michael "Jim" Delligatti sits behind a Big Mac birthday cake at his 90th birthday party in Canonsburg, Pa. Delligatti, the Pittsburgh-area McDonald's franchisee who created the Big Mac in 1967, has died. He was 98. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
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Michael  Delligatti August 2, 1918 - November 28, 2016

Pennsylvania McDonald's franchisee who created Big Mac dies

Originally published by Associated Press on November 30, 2016

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh-area McDonald's franchisee who created the Big Mac nearly 50 years ago has died. Michael "Jim" Delligatti was 98.

McDonald's spokeswoman Kerry Ford confirmed that Delligatti died at home surrounded by his family on Monday night.

Delligatti's franchise was based in Uniontown, about 40 miles south of Pittsburgh, when he invented the chain's signature burger with two all-beef patties, "special sauce," lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.

Delligatti told The Associated Press in 2006 that Oak Brook, Illinois-based McDonald's resisted the idea at first because its simple lineup of hamburgers, cheeseburgers, fries and shakes were selling well.

But Delligatti wanted to offer a bigger burger and it went over so well it spread to the rest of Delligatti's 47 stores, then went national in 1968.

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This story has been corrected to show the creator's name was Michael 'Jim' Delligatti, not James Delligatti.

Joe Mandak, The Associated Press

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