Subway co-founder Fred DeLuca has died

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Subway co-founder Fred DeLuca has died
US sandwich maker Subway co-founder and chairman for the world, the self-made billionaire Fred DeLuca, poses with a sandwich in a Parisian Subway restaurant on June 17, 2011 prior to attend a meeting with the press as part of the 10th anniversary of Subway France. Subway has seen its number of restaurants balloon to 33,749 across the globe as of January 1, making it the world's largest fast food chain ahead of McDonald, with 32,737 restaurants, as reported on March 11, 2011. AFP PHOTO ERIC PIERMONT (Photo credit should read ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images)
US sandwich maker Subway co-founder and chairman for the world, the self-made billionaire Fred DeLuca, poses in a Parisian Subway restaurant on June 17, 2011 prior to attend a meeting with the press as part of the 10th anniversary of Subway France. Subway has seen its number of restaurants balloon to 33,749 across the globe as of January 1, making it the world's largest fast food chain ahead of McDonald, with 32,737 restaurants, as reported on March 11, 2011. AFP PHOTO ERIC PIERMONT (Photo credit should read ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images)
US sandwich maker Subway co-founder and chairman for the world, the self-made billionaire Fred DeLuca, poses with a sandwich in a Parisian Subway restaurant on June 17, 2011 prior to attend a meeting with the press as part of the 10th anniversary of Subway France. Subway has seen its number of restaurants balloon to 33,749 across the globe as of January 1, making it the world's largest fast food chain ahead of McDonald, with 32,737 restaurants, as reported on March 11, 2011. AFP PHOTO ERIC PIERMONT (Photo credit should read ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images)
In this May 16, 2014 photo Subway co-founder Fred DeLuca poses for a photo at a Subway restaurant in New York. DeLuca died Monday evening, Sept. 14, 2015, after being diagnosed with leukemia two years ago, the company said Tuesday. He was 67. (AP Photo/Candice Choi)
Fred DeLuca, President and founder of sandwich maker Subway, poses during an interview in front of a Subway restaurant at 'Solna Centrum' in Stockholm on March 10, 2011. The self-made billionaire who heads up sandwich maker Subway, now the world's largest fast food chain in terms of restaurants, never thought his operation would become bigger than McDonald's. 'It was just a way to pay my way through college,' Fred DeLuca, who started his business at age 17, told AFP at a newly opened restaurant in Stockholm on March 10. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
Fred DeLuca, President and founder of sandwich maker Subway, poses during an interview in front of a Subway restaurant at 'Solna Centrum' in Stockholm on March 10, 2011. The self-made billionaire who heads up sandwich maker Subway, now the world's largest fast food chain in terms of restaurants, never thought his operation would become bigger than McDonald's. 'It was just a way to pay my way through college,' Fred DeLuca, who started his business at age 17, told AFP at a newly opened restaurant in Stockholm on March 10. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR SUBWAY - Fred DeLuca, Co-Founder and CEO, SUBWAY Restaurants, shows off his sandwich artistry at a SUBWAY store in New York, Tuesday, May 6, 2014. (Diane Bondareff/Invision for SUBWAY/AP Images)
Fred DeLuca, founder of the Subway brand pictured at a London store as the company has announced it is to create 6,000 jobs over the next three years.
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR SUBWAY - Fred DeLuca, left, Co-Founder and CEO, SUBWAY Restaurants, hands a customer their sandwich at a SUBWAY store in New York, Tuesday, May 6, 2014. (Diane Bondareff/Invision for SUBWAY/AP Images)
Fred DeLuca, founder of the Subway brand pictured at a London store as the company has announced it is to create 6,000 jobs over the next three years.
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Subway co-founder Fred DeLuca — the Brooklyn-born kid who built a global sandwich empire on the foundation of a Bridgeport, Connecticut, fast-food outlet — died on Monday at the age of 67. He was being treated for leukemia, an illness that he first began fighting in 2013. Though DeLuca returned to the company in 2014, he stepped down in June and installed his sister, Suzanne Greco, as president in his place.

Whatever you think of Subway now, its rise to ubiquity is nevertheless impressive: In 1965, a then-17-year-old DeLuca opened his first store, called Pete's Super Submarines, with $1,000 that he borrowed from family friend, Dr. Peter Buck, in the hopes of using it to pay for medical school. That first store didn't work out, but sandwich-making did and Subway was turned into a franchise less than a decade later in 1974. In 2015, 48 years after opening Peter's, Forbes named DeLuca the 737th richest person on the planet with a net worth of $3.5 billion.

RELATED: Subway acknowledges it received a complaint about Jared Fogle in 2011

Sandwich merits and a kind of faux-healthy-eating strategy aside, Subway's global-domination strategy seems to consist mostly of opening as many stores, small and large, as possible in as many different places as possible. The company surpassed McDonald's as largest chain restaurant in the United States and Canada in 2002 and then globally in 2010, when it operated a total of 33,749 stores. Over the last five years, the company's locations ballooned to 44,000 worldwide, and DeLuca said they could open another 7,000 to 8,000 in the United States. All that non-discriminate growth, however, led to problems for the chain, which experienced lagging sales in 2014. Of course, many people don't love the actual sandwiches, and the chain's healthful image began to falter in recent years. Compounding problems, of course, is this year's scandal involving disgraced spokesperson Jared Fogle, whose behavior Subway may have been warned about as early as 2008.

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