After creating the Big Mac nearly 50 years ago, Michael “Jim” Delligatti has died at 98.

McDonald’s spokespeople confirmed the franchisee passed away in his home on Monday, surrounded by his family and loved ones.

Delligatti created the Big Mac in 1967 in Uniontown, after recognising customers in his McDonald’s restaurant were after a bigger sandwich.

The burger would become the chain’s signature sandwich, and McDonald’s has sold billions since in more than 100 countries.

In 2007, it was estimated that 17 Big Macs were sold every second. Yet Delligatti allegedly never received any payments or royalties for his creation.

His funeral will be held this Saturday US time, at St. Joseph’s Parish in O’Hara Township.