Subway Co-Founder Fred DeLuca Dies at 67

Fox News — Subway says its co-founder Fred DeLuca died Monday evening after being diagnosed with leukemia two years ago, He was 67.

DeLuca decided to open a sandwich shop to help pay for college after graduating high school. The idea came from a family friend, Peter Buck, who was his co-founder and provided the $1,000 to start the business.

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It’s been a sad couple months for Subway. The delicious sandwich company was just trying to peacefully celebrate its 50th anniversary this year, but nope. In July, household name Jared Fogle was charged with essentially being one of the biggest scumbags on earth, soliciting sex with minors.

Now, after a 2-year battle with Leukemia, co-founder Fred DeLuca dies. As the Fox piece details, DeLuca was a true entrepreneurial icon and extremely well-respected in the business community.

I do believe, after my personal boycott following the Jared situation, I shall invest in a sandwich for lunch from Subway today. I’m not doing it for me. I’m not doing it for Jared. I’m not doing it for my future health (although I undoubtedly should).

I’m doing it for Fred. RIP.


PS – For your consumption, here is a more detailed history of Subway’s origins from Wikipedia, because these things are always fascinating. Basically Fred was a marketing genius.

In 1965, 17-year-old DeLuca borrowed $1,000 from family friend Dr. Peter Buck.[11] This was after Buck suggested the idea to help DeLuca make money for college[9][12] to study medicine.[10] Deluca’s plan was to begin a “fast-food venture that provided a healthier, less fattening bill of fare”.[9] On the radio advertisement they had promoted the name as “Pete’s Submarines”, which sounded like Pizza Marines, so they changed the name to “Pete’s Subway”. Eventually in 1968, it was shortened to “Subway” as it is known today.[13]

The first shop opened on August 28, 1965 at a mediocre location in the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut.[14] The first year of business was a learning experience and a challenge. A year later they opened their second location, having realized that visibility and marketing were key factors to success. DeLuca believed that the biggest mistake he made was where he set up his very first shop as it was a “crummy location.”[14] The third outlet was in a highly visible location [10] and that location is still there today.[15]

In 1978, Subway’s 100th store opened, and reached the 1,000 store mark in 1987. Explosive growth continued with Subway opening over 1,100 units in 1993 alone. By comparison, McDonald’s opened just under 800 that same year.[9]

As of June 2013, the company counts over 39,500 franchised locations worldwide [16] and produces US $9.05 billion sales every year. In 2007, Forbes magazine named DeLuca number 242 of the 400 richest Americans with a net worth of $1.5 billion. Today, Subway is one of the most popular chain restaurants.

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