Fred DeLuca

Frederick Adrian DeLuca (October 3, 1947 – September 14, 2015) was an Italian-American businessman and co-founder of the Subway franchise of sandwich shops.[2]

Fred DeLuca
Fred De Luca 2011-03-09 001.jpg
DeLuca in 2011
Frederick James Matthew DeLuca

(1947-10-03)October 3, 1947
DiedSeptember 14, 2015(2015-09-14) (aged 67)
NationalityAmerican (United States)
Alma materUniversity of Bridgeport
Years active1965–2015
Net worthIncrease US$3.5 billion (2015)[1]
TitleFounder/President of Subway (1965–2015)
Spouse(s)Elisabeth (1966–2015; his death)
RelativesSuzanne Greco (sister)

Early life and educationEdit

Fred DeLuca was born in Brooklyn, New York, on October 3, 1947[3] to Italian American parents Carmela and Salvatore DeLuca.[4] At the age of 10, DeLuca moved to Amsterdam, New York, where he and his family became friends with Peter Buck.[5] Once in his teens, he moved with his family to Bridgeport, Connecticut.[6] After succeeding in his business, DeLuca realized his dream to go to college and graduated from the University of Bridgeport.[7]

DeLuca was a 1965 graduate of Central High School in Bridgeport, Connecticut.[8]


In 1965, 17-year-old DeLuca borrowed $1,000 from family friend Dr. Peter Buck.[8] This was after Buck suggested the idea to help DeLuca make money for college[6][9] to study medicine.[7] DeLuca's plan was to begin a "fast-food venture that provided a healthful, less fattening bill of fare".[6] On the radio advertisement they had promoted the name as "Pete's Submarines," which sounded like "Pizza Marines" (see mondegreen), so they changed the name to "Pete's Subway." Eventually in 1968, it was shortened to simply "Subway" as it is known today.[10]

Early Years of SubwayEdit

The first shop opened on August 28, 1965 at a mediocre location in the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut.[11] 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."[11] The third outlet was in a highly visible location[7] and that location is still there today.[12]

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.[6] In 1998 Fred Deluca had met with a man named Jared Fogle, who had lost 245 pounds eating Subway sandwiches.[13][14] Deluca liked Fogle so much that he bought him a brand new $25,000 Mitsubishi Galant after that meeting and made him Subway's featured spokesman by 2000.[15] In a 2013 Interview, Deluca stated, "I don’t think we would have gotten as far as we did without Jared". [16]

Jared Fogle Underage Sex ScandalEdit

On August 18, Subway spokesman, Jared Fogle was charged and pled guilty to distributing and receiving child pornography, and conspiring to do so, as well as repeatedly traveling to engage in commercial sex acts with underage minors. [14] Fogle had made millions of dollars from Subway over a 15 year relationship with the company, which he made into a household name with his advertising campaign surrounding his 245 pound weight loss. [14]

A Subway Franchisee whistleblower named Cindy Mills, who ran a Subway Florida-based franchise in Pensacola, came forward and alerted several high ranking Subway executives about Fogle's pedophilia and illicit sexual activity. [17] [18] In a statement, Subway denied any knowledge of Fogle's pedophilia and that executives including Deluca and others were unaware of Fogle engaging in underage prostitution both in the United States and in Thailand. [19]

Subway Post Deluca YearsEdit

As of April 2018, the company counts 43,700 franchised locations worldwide and this year plans to open more than 1,000 locations outside of North America,[20] it produces US$9.05 billion in sales every year. In 2015, Deluca was one of the richest people in the United States with an estimated net worth of over $3.5 billion.[21] Today, Subway is one of the most popular chain food vendors.[6][22]

DeLuca and Peter Buck also partnered to create Franchise Brands[23] in an effort to assist other entrepreneurs in replicating their success in the franchise industry.

Personal lifeEdit

DeLuca had homes in Milford, Connecticut, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida,[22] and lived with his wife Elisabeth. His son, Jonathan, lives in Boca Raton, Florida.[7]

On July 15, 2013, DeLuca announced that he was being treated for leukemia.[24][25] DeLuca died on September 14, 2015, at Lauderdale Lakes, Florida.[26][3]


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.[3]


  1. ^ "Fred DeLuca". Forbes. Retrieved January 12, 2013.
  2. ^ McFadden, Robert D. (September 15, 2015). "Fred DeLuca, Hands-on Co-Founder of Subway Sandwich Chain, Dies at 67". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c "Fred DeLuca, Co-Founder of Subway Sandwich Chain, Dies at 67". New York Times. September 15, 2015.
  4. ^ "20th Century Great American Business Leaders database". Archived from the original on April 16, 2008. Retrieved November 10, 2011.
  5. ^ "Fred DeLuca". H. Wayne Huizenga School. Archived from the original on September 30, 2011.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ a b c d "Billionaire Profile: Fred DeLuca". March 25, 2011. Archived from the original on November 12, 2011. Retrieved November 10, 2011.
  8. ^ a b "Subway Passes McDonald's For Most Fast-Food Restaurants". Hartford Courant. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  9. ^ "Entrepreneur's Hall of Fame: Fred DeLuca". LTBN. 2007. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  10. ^ "Early Fast Fooderies-Where They all Started". April 30, 2012. Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  11. ^ a b "Five Tips from Subway". Inc. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  12. ^ "Subway, Eat Fresh". Archived from the original on October 13, 2009. Retrieved November 10, 2011.
  13. ^ Heavy Staff (September 15, 2015). "Fred DeLuca Dead: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy Inc. Retrieved January 28, 2021.
  14. ^ a b c Tim Evans; Mark Alesia (August 19, 2015). "Court documents reveal Jared Fogle's sordid secret life". IndyStar.
  15. ^ Heavy Staff (September 15, 2015). "Fred DeLuca Dead: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy Inc. Retrieved January 28, 2021.
  16. ^ Heavy Staff (September 15, 2015). "Fred DeLuca Dead: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy Inc. Retrieved January 28, 2021.
  17. ^ Kaja Whitehouse (August 28, 2015). "". USAToday. External link in |title= (help)
  18. ^ Heavy Staff (September 15, 2015). "Fred DeLuca Dead: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy Inc. Retrieved January 28, 2021.
  19. ^ Maria Mercedes Lara (August 30, 2015). "Subway Claims Their Management Team Was Not Alerted About Former Franchisee's Claims That Jared Fogle Admitted to Having Sex with Minors". People Magazine.
  20. ^ "Subway Plans to Close 500 U.S. Stores, Build Global Reach". Bloomberg. April 25, 2018. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  21. ^ Heavy Staff (September 15, 2015). "Fred DeLuca Dead: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy Inc. Retrieved January 28, 2021.
  22. ^ a b "Forbes Richest Americans". September 19, 2006. Retrieved November 10, 2011.
  23. ^ "Franchise Brands". February 19, 2009. Archived from the original on October 3, 2011. Retrieved November 10, 2011.
  24. ^ "Subway sandwich co-founder has leukemia". NBC News. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  25. ^ "Subway co-founder attends meeting mid leukemia battle". New York Post. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  26. ^ "Subway Co-Founder, CEO Fred DeLuca Dies at 67". Bloomberg News. September 15, 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2015.

External linksEdit