Subway co-founder leaves his $5 billion share in the chain to charity

Subway - Image Prachana Thong on /

The co-founder of fast food chain Subway has left half his share in the chain to charity, which is potentially worth around $5 billion.

Peter Buck, a former nuclear physicist who died in 2021, left his share to a charity that he set up in 1999. News of the donation came to light after a statement on Tuesday night according to the Daily Mail on Wednesday, January 1.

Buck´s original investment in the start-up was $1,000.

Carrie Schindele, Executive Director of the Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation said: “This gift will allow the foundation to greatly expand its philanthropic endeavours and impact many more lives.”

She said that the funds will go to causes related to education and health care adding: “Especially our work to create educational opportunities for all students.

“Work Dr. Buck cared so deeply about.”

The charity uses grants and counselling to help improve the quality of life in the communities it serves, and has donated millions over the years to hospitals in Connecticut. It also provides services to elementary school students locally and across the country.

The couple´s sons William and Christopher Buck serve as executives on the board of the foundation. They along with CFO Ben Benoit, are the sole executors of Buck’s estate.

The news of the donation comes after Forbes magazine managed to obtain a copy of the will, wherein it clearly stipulates the donation. Subway has been owned by the Buck and De Luca families ever since he at the age of 34 partnered with Fred De Luca then 17, to start the business.

De Luca, a family friend convinced Buck to back him. Buck, who worked designing power plants, and de Luca set up “Pete´s Super Submarines” with the most expensive sandwich costing a mere 69 cents.

The store was a sell-out from day one.

Three years later they renamed the company and set about selling franchises although Buck claimed they never made a profit for the first 15 years. Today Subway claims to have 40,000 outlets worldwide, more than Mcdonald’s.

De Luca passed away at the age of 67 in 2015 and Buck in 2021, at which time he was estimated to be worth around $1.7 billion. According to the Foundation, the two families remain close to this day.

Despite numerous setbacks over the years Subway remains valuable allowing the co-founder to leave his share in the chain, worth around $5 billion to charity

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at