Frederick "Fred" DeLuca

  • Died: September 13, 2015
  • Location: Milford, Connecticut


Fred DeLuca

Co-founder of the Subway chain of sandwich restaurants

NEW YORK (AP) - Subway co-founder Fred DeLuca died Monday evening after being diagnosed with leukemia two years ago, the company said Tuesday. He was 67.

DeLuca's death came weeks after the 50th anniversary of Subway, which has become the world's biggest restaurant chain by locations.
DeLuca decided to open a sandwich shop at the age of 17 to help pay for college after graduating high school. The idea came from a family friend, Peter Buck, who was co-founder and provided the $1,000 to start the business.

"I knew nothing about making sandwiches, nor the food industry," DeLuca later wrote in a book.

DeLuca and Buck opened their first store in Bridgeport, Connecticut, in August 1965 under the name "Pete's Super Submarines," with the priciest sub selling for 69 cents. The name was changed to the snappier "Subway" in 1968, and the pair decided to start franchising to fuel the chain's growth.
By 1988, the company had 2,000 locations. By 1990, it reached the 5,000-store mark. And by 1994, it had more than 8,000 locations.
Subway, based in Milford, Connecticut, is privately held and has given the public few glimpses into its inner workings. But in July 2013, the company announced that DeLuca had been diagnosed with leukemia. It said DeLuca was in regular contact with his management team, but on a reduced basis as he received treatment.

Earlier this summer, Subway announced that DeLuca's younger sister, Suzanne Greco, would take over as president and oversee day-to-day operations.
In his book "Start Small Finish Big: Fifteen Key Lessons to Start - and Run - Your Own Successful Business," DeLuca recalled living in public housing in the Bronx as a child. His father hadn't graduated high school, but his mother had stressed the importance of education while growing up.
After he graduated high school, DeLuca had planned on becoming a doctor. That was why he started the sub shop with Buck - to support his college education.

"It wasn't intended to support me forever," DeLuca wrote.

DeLuca is survived by his wife, son and sister, according to Subway.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.

Condolence & Memory Journal

God doesn't give things to anyone who will take it for granted. That is why he gave Mr. Deluca a great food company, because he knew Mr. Deluca would do the right thing with it. Thanks for feeding my family all these years and beyond. RIP.

Posted by Gregory Joubert - Dallas, TX   January 03, 2016

Leave a condolence or a memory.

Posted by Ed z. - Lakewood ranch, FL - Business   October 09, 2015


Rest in Peace Mr Deluca. I had the opportunity to meet with you at the Subway Headquarters in 2000, and although a very rich man by then, I found you to be completely down to earth and very inspirational. You have built a unique brand that will live on in your memory. God bless.

Posted by Brian Clingan - lancaster, UK - Franchisee   September 30, 2015

My sincere condolences for the loss of your loved one. May you find comfort from the promise of the resurrection hope found at John 5:28,29.

Posted by Maria De Jesus - New Rochelle, NY   September 16, 2015

You will be remembered for starting one of the most famous food brands in history, and now having it stained forever by Jared Fogle.

Posted by D.I.    September 16, 2015

I remember Fred telling me that people were saying to him"why do you drive an old car and instead of fixing up your home just buy a bigger one". He responded by saying because I'm very happy with what I have. Is that so bad?" Here was a man who truly loved life and was truly content. You will be greatly missed old friend

Posted by Marci kagan - Ft Lauderdale, FL - Friend   September 16, 2015

Fred was inspirational. I asked him once for business advise . I wanted to learn how to be the person who they call in to close the deal. Fred kindly said to me "you have so many strengths why don't we focus on your strengths instead. How wonderfully put. He had amazing insights into people. As busy as he was he always found time for his friends whether it be to check in and say hello or to offer lending ear. He will be greatly missed

Posted by Marci Kagan - Ft Lauderdale, FL - Friend of 15 years   September 16, 2015

Family Album

Fred DeLuca