Inventor of McDonald's iconic Big Mac dies

Michael 'Jim' Delligatti somehow made it to 98 years before throwing away the pickle

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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 offerings. In 1967 he put it on the menu at his Uniontown, Pa, restaurant.

McDonalds like what it saw and took it national by 1968.

The rest is history: the Big Mac went on to become a symbol of American culture and capitalism, was accused of felling rainforests and contributed to unknown quantities of myocardial infarctions.

The burger went global and became so ubiquitous The Economist devised the Big Mac index to compare purchasing power around the world. A cultural icon, the burger was celebrated in innumerable works of art, perhaps most famously as Le Big Mac in Quentin Tarntino's Pulp Fiction.

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Most importantly, the Big Mac eased a great many hangovers with its combination of sugary bread, sugary sauce, sugary pickles and slivers of protein.

Delligatti was never paid for his invention, but was not bitter: McDonalds celebrated him and his invention and the Delligatti family still runs 21 McDonalds. ®


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