|Birthdate||October 3, 1947|
|Birthplace||Brooklyn, New York|
|Education||High school diploma|
|Career||Co-founder of Subway|
|CEO of Subway (1995-2015)|
|Notable Awards||Ellis Island Medal of Honor (1996)|
|Junior Achievement U.S. Business|
|Hall of Fame (2002)|
|Net Worth||Estimated at $2.7 billion (2015)|
Fred DeLuca was an American entrepreneur and the co-founder of Subway, the world’s largest submarine sandwich chain. He was born on October 3, 1947, in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up in a low-income family. DeLuca attended the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut but dropped out before earning his degree to focus on his business ventures.
In 1965, at the age of 17, DeLuca borrowed $1,000 from family friend Peter Buck to start a sandwich shop in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The two became business partners, and they named the shop “Pete’s Super Submarines.” The business was successful, and the partners opened several more locations over the next few years. In 1968, they changed the name to Subway and began franchising the business.
Subway quickly grew into a global brand, with over 40,000 locations in more than 100 countries. DeLuca remained involved in the company throughout his life and served as its CEO until his death in 2015.
DeLuca’s net worth was estimated to be around $3.5 billion at the time of his death. He was known for his philanthropy and donated millions of dollars to various causes, including education, healthcare, and hunger relief. In 2014, DeLuca and his wife donated $1 million to the University of Bridgeport to establish a scholarship program for low-income students.
Despite his enormous wealth and success, DeLuca remained humble and focused on his passion for entrepreneurship. He once said, “I’ve never thought of Subway as a fast-food restaurant. I’m in the retail business. I’m in the real estate business. I’m in the construction business. I’m in the logistics business. Sandwiches are just a tool we use to sell those products.”
DeLuca’s legacy lives on through Subway and his philanthropic work. He was a true inspiration to many aspiring entrepreneurs and a shining example of the American Dream.
Here is a timeline of some key events in the life of Fred DeLuca:
- 1947: Fred DeLuca is born on October 3 in Brooklyn, New York.
- 1965: At age 17, DeLuca borrows $1,000 from family friend Peter Buck to open a sandwich shop called “Pete’s Super Submarines” in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
- 1968: DeLuca and Buck change the name of their sandwich shop to Subway and begin franchising the business.
- 1983: Subway reaches 1,000 locations.
- 1990: Subway expands internationally with its first location in Bahrain.
- 1995: DeLuca becomes the CEO of Subway.
- 2002: Subway surpasses McDonald’s as the largest restaurant chain in the world by number of locations.
- 2013: DeLuca is diagnosed with leukemia and begins treatment.
- 2014: DeLuca and his wife donate $1 million to the University of Bridgeport to establish a scholarship program for low-income students.
- 2015: Fred DeLuca passes away on September 14 at the age of 67, leaving behind a legacy of entrepreneurship and philanthropy.
- 2020: Subway has over 40,000 locations in more than 100 countries and remains one of the most popular fast-food chains in the world.
5 Interesting Facts About Fred DeLuca:
- DeLuca started his first sandwich shop, “Pete’s Super Submarines,” with just $1,000 borrowed from family friend Peter Buck.
- Before starting Subway, DeLuca considered opening a car dealership or a laundromat.
- Subway’s famous $5 Footlong promotion was actually DeLuca’s idea.
- DeLuca was a strong advocate for education and donated millions of dollars to support scholarships and educational programs.
- Despite his enormous wealth, DeLuca lived a relatively modest lifestyle and drove a 2004 Honda Accord.
5 Quotes From Fred DeLuca:
- “Believe in your own abilities, work hard and there is nothing you cannot accomplish.”
- “You have to be passionate about what you’re doing, and if you are, you’ll do well.”
- “My belief was that if you give customers great value and great service, they’ll keep coming back.”
- “You can’t have a successful business without treating your customers right.”
- “I’ve never thought of Subway as a fast-food restaurant. I’m in the retail business. I’m in the real estate business. I’m in the construction business. I’m in the logistics business. Sandwiches are just a tool we use to sell those products.”