Herb Peterson

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Herbert Ralph "Herb" Peterson (January 5, 1919 – March 25, 2008) was an American fast food executive and food scientist most known for being the inventor of the McDonald's Egg McMuffin in 1972.[1][2] The breakfast business that he pioneered with this item had grown to an estimated $4–5 billion in annual revenues for the fast food restaurant chain McDonald's by 1993.[3]

As a vice president at D'Arcy Advertising in Chicago, which was McDonald's in-house advertising arm,[1] Peterson coined McDonald's first national advertising slogan, "Where Quality Starts Fresh Every Day."[1] He later became a franchise co-owner and the operator of six McDonald's restaurants in and around Santa Barbara, California.[4]

Peterson developed the Egg McMuffin, which has become a McDonald's breakfast signature item, in 1972. Peterson was said to like eggs benedict, so he worked to develop a breakfast item which was similar to it for the fast food chain.[1] Peterson eventually came up with the Egg McMuffin, which was an egg sandwich consisting of an egg formed in a Teflon circle with the yolks broken, topped with Canadian bacon and a slice of cheese.[1] The Egg McMuffin was served as an open faced sandwich on a buttered and toasted English muffin.[1]

The Egg McMuffin was first sold at a McDonald's in Goleta, California (near Santa Barbara), which Peterson co-owned with his son, David Peterson.[1]

Peterson died in Santa Barbara on March 25, 2008, at the age of 89.[1][4][5] He was survived by his wife, son and three daughters.[1] A memorial service for Peterson was held on April 23, 2008, in Montecito, California.[1] Herb Peterson is the grandfather of professional surfer Lakey Peterson.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Egg McMuffin inventor Herb Peterson dies in California at 89". Associated Press (International Herald Tribune). 2008-03-27. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  2. ^ Date of birth, and that born in U.S.A., from Genealogue Challenge #123
  3. ^ Steve Weiss (June 1993). "The scoop on the egg McMuffin". Restaurants & Institutions. Retrieved 2008-03-27. [dead link]
  4. ^ a b Denise Petski (2008-03-26). "Egg McMuffin inventor dies at 89". Associated Press. Seattle Post Intelligence. Retrieved 2008-03-27. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Egg McMuffin inventor dies at 89". Los Angeles Daily News. 2008-03-26. Retrieved 2008-03-27.