Fred DeLuca

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Fred DeLuca
Fred De Luca 2011-03-09 001.jpg
Born Frederick James Matthew DeLuca
(1947-10-03)October 3, 1947
Brooklyn, New York City, U.S.
Died September 14, 2015(2015-09-14) (aged 67)
Lauderdale Lakes, Florida, U.S.
Cause of death Leukemia
Nationality American
Alma mater University of Bridgeport
Occupation Businessman
Years active 1965–2015
Net worth Increase US$3.5 billion (2015)[1]
Title Founder/President of Subway (1965–2015)
Spouse(s) Elisabeth (1966–2015; his death)
Children 1
Parent(s) Carmela and Salvatore
Relatives Suzanne Greco (sister)

Frederick Adrian "Fred" DeLuca (October 3, 1947 – September 14, 2015) was an American businessman, best known as the co-founder of the Subway franchise of sandwich shops.

Early life and education

Fred DeLuca was born in Brooklyn, New York, on October 3, 1947[2] to Italian American parents Carmela and Salvatore DeLuca.[3] At the age of 10, DeLuca moved to Amsterdam, New York, where he and his family became friends with Peter Buck.[4] Once in his teens, he moved with his family to Bridgeport, Connecticut.[5] After succeeding in his business, DeLuca realized his dream to go to college and graduated from the University of Bridgeport.[6]

DeLuca was a 1965 graduate of Central High School in Bridgeport, Connecticut.[7]


In 1965, 17-year-old DeLuca borrowed $1,000 from family friend Dr. Peter Buck.[7] This was after Buck suggested the idea to help DeLuca make money for college[5][8] to study medicine.[6] DeLuca's plan was to begin a “fast-food venture that provided a healthful, less fattening bill of fare".[5] On the radio advertisement they had promoted the name as "Pete's Submarines," which sounded like Pizza Marines, so they changed the name to "Pete's Subway." Eventually in 1968, it was shortened to "Subway" as it is known today.[9]

The first shop opened on August 28, 1965 at a mediocre location in the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut.[10] The first year of business was a learning experience and a challenge. A year later they opened their second location, having realized that visibility and marketing were key factors to success. DeLuca believed that the biggest mistake he made was where he set up his very first shop as it was a "crummy location."[10] The third outlet was in a highly visible location[6] and that location is still there today.[11]

In 1978, Subway’s 100th store opened, and reached the 1,000 store mark in 1987. Explosive growth continued with Subway opening 1,100 units in 1993 alone. By comparison, McDonald's opened 800 that same year.[5]

As of June 2013, the company counts 39,500 franchised locations worldwide[12] and produces US $9.05 billion in sales every year. In 2007, Forbes magazine named DeLuca number 242 of the 400 richest Americans with a net worth of $1.5 billion. Today, Subway is one of the most popular chain food vendors.[5][13]

DeLuca and Peter Buck also partnered to create Franchise Brands[14] in an effort to assist other entrepreneurs in replicating their success in the franchise industry.

Personal life

DeLuca had homes in Milford, Connecticut, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida,[13] and lived with his wife Elisabeth. His son, Jonathan, lives in Boca Raton, Florida.[6]

On July 15, 2013, DeLuca announced that he was being treated for leukemia.[15][16] He died on September 14, 2015, at Lauderdale Lakes, Florida.[17][2]


At the graduation commencement in 2002, DeLuca received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.) from his alma mater, the University of Bridgeport.[2]


  1. ^ "Fred DeLuca". Forbes. Retrieved January 12, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "Fred DeLuca, Co-Founder of Subway Sandwich Chain, Dies at 67". New York Times. September 15, 2015. 
  3. ^ "20th Century Great American Business Leaders database". Archived from the original on April 16, 2008. Retrieved November 10, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Fred DeLuca". H. Wayne Huizenga School. Archived from the original on September 30, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "DeLuca, Fred – Overview, Personal Life, Career Details, Chronology: Fred DeLuca, Social and Economic Impact – Subway, Store, Company, and Food – JRank Articles". Retrieved November 10, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Billionaire Profile: Fred DeLuca". March 25, 2011. Retrieved November 10, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "Subway Passes McDonald's For Most Fast-Food Restaurants". Hartford Courant. Retrieved July 7, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Entrepreneur's Hall of Fame: Fred DeLuca". LTBN. 2007. Retrieved September 14, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Early Fast Fooderies-Where They all Started". April 30, 2012. Retrieved September 13, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b "Five Tips from Subway". Inc. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Subway, Eat Fresh". Archived from the original on October 13, 2009. Retrieved November 10, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Subway Imagines a Future With 100,000 Sandwich Shops". Businessweek. June 7, 2013. Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b "Forbes Richest Americans". September 19, 2006. Retrieved November 10, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Franchise Brands". February 19, 2009. Retrieved November 10, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Subway sandwich co-founder has leukemia". NBC News. Retrieved July 19, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Subway co-founder attends meeting mid leukemia battle". New York Post. Retrieved July 7, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Subway Co-Founder, CEO Fred DeLuca Dies at 67". Bloomberg News. September 15, 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2015. 

External links

  • Entrepreneur magazine interview
  • Our Tribute to Fred on YouTube, official Subway Restaurants tribute to Fred DeLuca
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