One of the co-founders of Subway has died at the age of 67. Fred DeLuca had be diagnosed with leukemia in 2013 but since 2014 had been back to work. His death comes just a month after former company spokesman Jared Fogle confessed to possessing child pornography and soliciting sex from minors. In 1998, DeLuca met Fogle for the first time, after which, DeLuca bought the spokesman a $25,000 Mitsubishi Galant.
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Here’s what you need to know:
1. He’s Survived By His Wife & 2 Kids
DeLuca passed away on September 14. He divided his time between his native Connecticut and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. DeLuca was married to his high-school sweetheart, Elisabeth. The couple had one daughter, Erica, and a son, Jonathan, who runs an investment business in Florida. In 2014, USA Today did a feature on DeLuca’s health, he said about his time stuck home saying “I guess that’s one of the benefits of being sick. our wife lets you have a big-screen TV in the living room.”
2. He Started Subway When He Was 17
DeLuca co-founded the hugely successfully chain at 17 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, with Peter Buck in 1965. Since then, Subway has grown to over 42,000 outlets worldwide. In 2011, the Wall Street Journal reported that the company had surpassed McDonald’s in terms of outlets. The company’s success continued with the $5 footlong, though a bizarre lawsuit in 2012 famously claimed the sandwiches weren’t really a one foot in length.
3. His Sister Took Over His Role at Subway
4. Fred DeLuca’s Net Worth Was $3.5 Billion
At the time of his death, his net worth was at $3.5 billion, according to Forbes. That piece adds that though Subway was portrayed as a healthier option to McDonald’s, a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich possesses 1,000 calories and a Big Mac only has 500. He was ranked at number 235 on the list of Forbes’ 400 riches people in America. He’s also regarded as a self-made billionaire.
5. DeLuca Said in 2013 That Subway Wouldn’t Be Where it Is Today Without Jared Fogle
Earlier this year, Subway cut its ties to former spokesman Jared Fogle after he was investigated for child pornography. Later, Fogle confessed to possessing child porn and to soliciting sex from teenage girls. In 2013, DeLuca told Inc Magazine “I don’t think we would have gotten as far as we did without Jared and the new bread and the menu that we also introduced at that time.”
In August 2015, Cindy Mills, a Subway franchisee from Pensacola, Florida, told USA Today that she told upper management at Subway about Jared Fogle’s behavior and “interest in children.”