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Big Mac Creator Jim Delligatti Dies at 98

Fast food pioneer died Monday, surrounded by family

If you drive by a McDonald’s and see its¬†trademark red-and-yellow flag flying at half-staff today, there’s good reason.

Michael “Jim” Delligatti, the man credited with creating the fast food giant’s Big Mac sandwich, has died, the Associated Press reports. He was 98.

A spokesman for McDonald’s told the AP that Delligatti died Monday night at home, surrounded by his family — so call off the APB for the Hamburglar, because it appears he wasn’t involved.

Delligatti created the sandwich — famously consisting of two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce,¬†cheese, pickles and onions on a sesame-seed bun — nearly half a century ago while running a McDonald’s franchise in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, south of Pittsburgh.

According to Delligatti, McDonald’s was initially resistant to his idea for a bigger burger, reasoning that its basic menu was already selling well. However, after Delligatti’s creation proved a hit in his franchises, the Big Mac went national in 1968.

“Today, we celebrate the 98 inspirational years of Big Mac inventor, Michael ‘Jim’ Delligatti,” McDonald’s tweeted on Wednesday. “Jim, we thank and will forever remember you.”