back to article Inventor of McDonald's iconic Big Mac dies

Michael 'Jim' Delligatti, the inventor of the Big Mac, has died aged 98. Just how he made it that far, given his fondness for the lard-laden double-decker, is anyone's guess. Delligatti cooked up the Big Mac in 1965 when, as one of McDonalds' early franchisees, he felt the menu needed a rival for local burger bars' two-storey …

  1. Anonymous Coward

    Guilt complex

    If I were McD's CEO I would go on Twitter, In Full Trump Mode, and announce that I feel real bad that the Inventor of the Big Mac was never properly rewarded by past CEOs. I would then mention I'm sending his heirs a cool million bucks just to say a belated "thanks." It would stimulate interest in this iconic semi-edible and no doubt boost sales profits enough to cover the million, at least.

    And I get to look like a cool dude just for picking up a phone.

    1. Ole Juul

      Re: Guilt complex

      The Earl of Sandwich probably didn't get paid either. Let's make Britain great again.

      1. Stevey

        Re: Guilt complex

        I'm with you, but we must protest against the heresy that is sliced cheese. Let's make Britain grate again.

      2. Pedigree-Pete

        Sandwich getting paid...

        Neither did Lord Cardigan or Lord Wellington but you don't normally eat those.

        1. TheDillinquent

          Re: Sandwich getting paid...

          Wellingtons are actually very tasty, well the beef ones are.

    2. Steve Todd

      Re: Guilt complex

      American lawyers would take that as an admission of guilt, and sue for a billion or more. CEOs have to take that kind of thing into account.

    3. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: Guilt complex

      Has Trump ever expressed a feeling of sorry and then stumped up $1m?

    4. thomn8r

      Re: Guilt complex

      I would then mention I'm sending his heirs a cool million bucks just to say a belated "thanks."

      And then in true Trump fashion, don't actually send the money

  2. Shane 4

    Not bitter

    Didn't get paid and not bothered.

    I wouldn't be either if I had 21 macca's stores, Would already be rolling in money from last century when it was popular.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Not bitter

      yes, the "indirect profits" of selling big mac would offset any direct payment for the menu enhancement. no bitterness indeed.

      NOW, if MacD can simply go back to what they're GOOD at and stop trying to appease the vegans and greens... and keep their prices low... and VOILA! Business success restored!

      Fries cooked in tallow, burgers rapid-fried on a grill with the grease sealed in, shakes with all the sugar and all the milk fat... Yum!

      just take vitamins, an aspirin a day, and a shot of liquor per day, and you'll be fine, and can have all of the burgers and fries you want. Seriously! Tell the veggie-nazis to pack sand, and ENJOY your meat!

      1. Queasy Rider

        Re: Not bitter

        Dear B.Bob, to say I viscerally disagree with numerous of your posts would be an understatement, but I wish I could have up-voted your vitamin and aspirin reference over and over again. Gonna take mine right now. Good health to you, and many, if not all contrarians.

  3. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    Any comment from Don Gorske yet?

  4. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Drive Thru Toss

    Shortly after leaving the drive-thru friends and I would fish out the pickle slices and then try and stick them to the front window by throwing them....those were the days.

  5. Chris Miller

    Prior art?

    "he felt the menu needed a rival for local burger bars' two-storey offerings"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Prior art?

      McDonalds is 100% prior art.

      A key pre-Mac feature of each small USA town was the local burger joint somewhere downtown which served its own unique burger, had its own regular customers, etc. These were all a bit scruffy, food was hit and miss, though some of them served fairly decent food. I caught the tail and disappearance of the last of them in the 1980-es during my first visit to the USA. The local burger joint in the uni town I stayed served double the size, double the quality for half the price of what McDonalds was serving. You had to endure the piercing inquisitive "who is this guy" looks by the local population though as well as answer questions from the other punters.

      McDonalds replaced these with a clinical industry oriented specifically towards the traveling salesman. All of its recipes are prior art from local burger shops (it does not hold specific IPR or trade secrets on dishes the way KFC or Burger King do).

      Early on the traveling salesmen were the guys which fed the growth of the Mac. They knew that they can eat something that sucks, but sucks to a known level and not be growled at by local hillbilly troglodytes anywhere they go. Nobody was asking them questions about the local football team either.

      Then, the locals followed them and the rest as they say is history. The burger joints are no more and Big Mac took over USA and then the world (only to be displaced by other chains nowdays).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Prior art?

        Those places still exist. For example, All American Hamburger in Massapequa, New York.

        Last time I was up to Long Island a few years ago it hadn't changed much. Still the same basic burgers and homemade fries I enjoyed in college and later.

        Closer to home here in Raleigh, we've got Mojo's Burger Joint, another classic that it's hard not to like.

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Prior art?

        The burger joints are no more and Big Mac took over USA and then the world (only to be displaced by other chains nowdays).

        I quite disagree with this. Most cities and towns have their burger joint. Not quite to greasy spoon level (sign outside saying "Eats") but the little shop that all they do is burgers and maybe fries (chips). Open generally for lunch an into very early evening. Their burgers are usually hand made and not the best looking sandwich, but usually very tasty as the cook has learned the art of how to cook them and seal in juices.. maybe even a bit of spice.

        Given a choice, I'll always seek out the little burger barn and ignore the chains.

  6. You aint sin me, roit

    Michael 'Jim' Delligatti

    Apart from wondering why Michael's nickname was Jim, I'm really sad it wasn't Mac.

    Or Ronald.

  7. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    "Big Mac and dies."

    The Sun.

    "His son revealed that Delligatti ate at least one 540 calorie Big Mac every week, according to CBS."

    "In 1970, he invented the Egg McMuffin which paved the way for the breakfast menu which started two years later."

    I'm on the road later today - will pick up a "Big Mac and fries" on the way back in remembrance.

    May he not go to the eternal flame grilling place

    icon: L̶o̶v̶e̶ ̶i̶t̶ “I’m Lovin’ It”

  8. TheProf


    Famous for putting a second disc of ground beef into an already populated bun? And you think those 'internet celebrities' have it easy.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clearly he didn't eat said invented food or he would never have made it to 70.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      He did.

      However, if you note the pics in the newspapers he is on a mobility scooter.

      How to put it... I AM NOT SURPRISED. In the slightest...

  10. Ugotta B. Kiddingme Silver badge

    "McDonalds like what it saw..."

    um... not initially it didn't. Only after it was hugely successful for three years at the local level in Delligatti's franchise locations did they give in and take it national.

    "Jim Delligatti told The Associated Press in 2006 that McDonald’s resisted the idea at first because its simple lineup of hamburgers, cheeseburgers, fries and shakes was selling well.

    “They figured, why go to something else if (the original menu) was working so well?” Delligatti said then."

    Delligatti was also famous for inventing several other well known items on the McDonalds menu including, IIRC, much of the original breakfast menu.

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