Big Mac Museum will mark Pittsburgh-area inventor’s death with ‘a quiet respect’

The museum is inside a McDonald’s location in North Huntingdon.

Big Mac Museum. This photo has been cropped.

Big Mac Museum. This photo has been cropped.

RJ Schmidt / Flickr
Sarah Anne Hughes

Updated, 6:40 p.m.

Michael “Jim” Delligatti, the Pittsburgh-area man who invented the Big Mac, died this week, the Associated Press reported. He was 98.

Delligatti first served the oversized burger in 1967 at a McDonald’s franchise in Uniontown. In 2007, to mark the burger’s 40th anniversary, he opened a Big Mac Museum in North Huntingdon, about 20 miles from Pittsburgh.

The museum, which is also a McDonald’s restaurant, is home to what’s believed to be the world’s biggest Big Mac. The statue, Delligatti’s son Mike told WQED’s “Dave & Dave,” is 14 feet tall and 12 feet wide.

The world's biggest Big Mac at the Big Mac Museum

The world's biggest Big Mac at the Big Mac Museum

David Fulmer / Flickr

There’s also a timeline, which remembers when Pittsburgh Mayor Sophie Masloff declared Sept. 25, 1992 McDonald’s Corporation Day and renamed the city “Big Mac USA.”

Here’s what her proclamation said:

By virtue of the authority vested in me as Mayor, I do herby proclaim Friday, September 25, 1992 as MCDONALD’S CORPORATION DAY throughout the City of Pittsburgh to focus attention on the celebration taking place this day in honor of McDonald’s 30th Anniversary in Western Pennsylvania; to salute Mr. M.J. Delligatti as one of the leading entrepreneurs in the community and to officially salture his work for the Ronald McDonald House in Shadyside; to congratulate Jim Delligatti on his receiving the Big MAC (Most Assists for Children) Award this evening for his outstanding commitment to the children of our community; and to thank all the staff at McDonalds for their dedication to the quality of life in our city.

A spokesperson for McDonald’s says there are no special events planned at the museum to mark Delligatti’s death.

“Just a quiet respect and appreciation for an ingenious businessman and kindhearted gentleman,” spokesperson Kerry Ford said by email.

This post has been updated to remove incorrect information. Delligatti helped introduce breakfast; Herb Peterson invented the Egg McMuffin. 

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