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FILE - In this Aug. 21, 2008, file photo, Big Mac creator Michael "Jim" Delligatti attends his 90th birthday party in Canonsburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

The creator of the Big Mac died at 98


The man who created the Big Mac died Monday at the age of 98.

Michael "Jim" Delligatti, a McDonald's franchisee, made the sandwich in 1967 at his Uniontown, Pa., location. 

His son, also named Michael, said Jim ate at least one Big Mac a week for decades. He gave the burger its name because "Big Mc [as in McDonald's] sounded too funny." The Big Mac was initially resisted because McDonald's was doing so well with a simpler menu. When it exploded in popularity, McDonald's began selling it nationwide.

McDonald's paid tribute to Delligatti on Twitter.

Delligatti was a legendary franchisee within McDonald's system who made a lasting impression on our brand.
McDonald's statement

Delligatti also co-founded a Ronald McDonald House in Pittsburgh. He also helped introduce breakfast service at McDonald's, which was originally intended to feed steelworkers heading home from late shifts.

Some Twitter users mourned him as an "American hero."

Others made fun of how unhealthy his trademark creation is.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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