Alim Kheraj
Updated Dec 01, 2016 @ 3:06 am
Big Mac
Credit: Jason Alden/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The man behind the iconic McDonald’s Big Mac has died aged 98.

Michael “Jim” Delligatti invented the famous sandwich in 1967 where it was trialled in Uniontown, Pa., south of Pittsburgh, and sold for just 45 cents. Within a year, the sandwich had been rolled out to every McDonald’s franchise in the country, and by 1969 it allegedly brought in around 19% of the company’s total sales. Indeed, the Big Mac is still so popular that last year McDonald’s Sweden launched a shop dedicated to the burger, and McDonald’s sells around 550 million Big Macs in the U.S. alone every year.

However, sadly Michael Delligatti passed away on Monday (November 28th) in his home in Fox Chapel, Pa.

Known for it’s two beef patties, it’s center sliced bun, and Secret Sauce, the Big Mac became synonymous with its famous commercials, including this retro 1968 one that sees an actor in a beige suit explaining what goes into the sandwich.

However, the burger became known for it’s catchy jingle that lists the ingredients of the Big Mac.

Indeed, Delligatti even opened his own Big Mac Museum in 2007.

Speaking to Reuters at the time, he opened up about why he invented the iconic hamburger sandwich.

Delligatti actually went rogue while making the Big Mac. While his idea was approved by McDonald’s, he used a large sesame seed bun from a local baker to put the burger together.

Part of the Big Mac’s appeal, however, is that Special Sauce.

While McDonald’s revealed how the sauce is made in a recent video, a bottle of the Mac Sauce was sold for $18,000 only last year.

Earlier this year, McDonald’s announced that they were launching a new version of the Big Mac, the Mac JR, a smaller version of the sandwich. Similarly, it was revealed that the fast food giant was trialling a Sriracha Big Mac, too.

Our thoughts are with Delligatti’s family at this time.