Peter Buck, Co-Founder of the Subway Sandwich Chain, Dies at 90

Peter Buck, who invested $1,000 in a sandwich shop that later became Subway, died on Thursday. He died at 90.

Subway announced his death in a statement. There was no cause given.

Dr. Buck was a nuclear physicist. Fred DeLuca, the son of a friend, asked him for advice on how to pay for his college education, while he was helping to design nuclear power plants. Dr. Buck had fond memories of an Italian sandwich shop that his family had frequented when he was growing up in Maine, so he suggested he open a similar shop.

Dr. Buck took Mr. DeLuca to Amato's, a sandwich shop in Maine that now has locations throughout Northern New England. He opened Pete's Super Submarines after Dr. Buck gave him a $1,000 loan.

Mr. DeLuca made radio ads for Pete's Submarines. The partners changed the name of the restaurant to Subway because they thought he was saying Pizza Marines. The sandwiches have been called subs for a long time because of the shape of the bread, but they are also known as heroes, grinders, po'boys or hoagies in other parts of the country.

The two opened restaurants in other places. Subway has over 40,000 restaurants. Subway is still the world's largest food chain by number of outlets despite a few thousand of its shops closing in recent years. McDonald's and Starbucks are larger by revenue.

According to Forbes, Dr. Buck has a net worth of $1.7 billion, and he is the seventh-largest landholder in the country. He has more than 1.2 million acres of timberland in Maine.

The image is.

The Subway shop is in Manhattan. Subway is the world's largest food chain by number of outlets.

Peter Buck was born in South Portland, Maine, where his parents ran a large farm. Peter and David helped plant, cultivate and pick crops. Their mother worked at The Portland Press Herald.

Peter was the first in his family to attend college. He earned a doctorate in physics at Columbia after studying economics and science at Bowdoin.

He was hired by General Electric in 1957 to perform tests on atomic power plants for the Navy. He joined the United Nuclear Corporation in White Plains, New York, in 1965, and later worked at Nuclear Energy Services in Connecticut.

Dr. Buck was helping to build the sandwich business while he was immersed in high-level calculations for nuclear power plants. The first shop at the strip mall was set up with his own kitchen table.

He and Mr. DeLuca sold out of their foot-long subs on the day the shop opened. The price of a foot-long subs is between $5.50 and $8.95.

Dr. Buck said it took 15 years for the business to become profitable. Mr. DeLuca told Fortune that the two opened additional shops to create the image of success. Mr. DeLuca was able to go to college because they earned enough. He graduated in 1971.

Dr. Buck met Haydee Piero, the daughter of Jesus T. Piero, the first native-born governor of Puerto Rico. They had three children. Dr. Buck married Carmen Lucia Passagem, who died in 2003

Dr. Buck has two sons, Christopher and William, as well as five grandchildren.

Mr. DeLuca died in 2015.

Dr. Buck was a major philanthropist in the field of education and health care. The Carmen Lucia Ruby was donated to the gem collection at the National Museum of Natural History.

He kept a low profile. He ate at least five Subway sandwiches a week, according to The Wall Street Journal.