Subway co-founder Peter Buck died Thursday at the age of 90, the company confirmed.
"We are deeply saddened by the passing of one of Subway's founders, Dr Peter Buck. He was a shining example of a dedicated, hands-on leader, and an integral member of the Subway family," John Chidsey, CEO of Subway, said in a statement, reports the CNN.
Buck turned his initial investment of $1,000 in Subway into more than a billion dollars. With more than 40,000 locations worldwide, Subway today is now the world's largest submarine sandwich chain.
According to Forbes, Peter Buck, the company's last surviving founder, left a net worth of $1.7 billion.
Buck was born in 1930 in South Portland, Maine. He graduated from Bowdoin College in 1952 and earned his master's and doctoral degrees in physics from Columbia University.
In 1965, Buck gave his family friend, Fred DeLuca, the idea to open a submarine sandwich shop to help the then-college freshman make money for college. Buck, who was a nuclear physicist, provided an initial investment of $1,000, and "Pete's Super Submarines" opened in Bridgeport, Connecticut. By 1974, the two owned and operated 16 shops in Connecticut and then began franchising them.
According to the food service research and consultant firm Technomic, sales at Subway's US locations have fallen in recent years. Amid competition from other fast-food companies, system-wide sales at Subway's US locations have fallen to $8.3 billion in 2020, down from $12.3 billion in 2013, its best year of the past 15, according to Technomic's analysis.