Peter Buck (restaurateur)

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Peter Buck
Born c. 1930
South Portland, Maine, US
Alma mater Bowdoin College (B.S., 1952)
Columbia University (M.S; Ph.D., Physics)
Bowdoin College (L.H.D., 2008, honorary) [1]
Occupation Businessman
co-founder of Subway Sandwiches
Net worth Decrease US$ 2.6 billion (2015)[2]

Peter Buck (born c. 1930) is a physicist, restaurateur, and philanthropist. He co-founded the Subway fast food restaurant chain.


A native of South Portland, Maine where he was born circa 1930,[3] Buck graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, in 1952. He then earned master’s and doctoral degrees in physics at Columbia University.[1][4][5] In 2008, Bowdoin College awarded him an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.[1]


While working as a nuclear physicist for several companies from 1957 to 1978, Buck loaned partner and family friend Fred De Luca $1,000 in 1965 and advised him to open a sandwich shop to help him pay for college at the University of Bridgeport in Bridgeport, Connecticut. They named the restaurant after Buck, calling it "Pete's Super Submarines".[6] Together Buck and De Luca formed Doctor's Associates to oversee operations of the restaurants as the franchise expanded. Though neither the first nor the second restaurants were financial successes, they continued to expand their operations.[6] By 1973, they had 16 locations throughout Connecticut and, in 1974, they began franchising out the restaurants.[7] They also introduced Subway's current logo and changed the name of their operation from what was then "Pete's Subway" to "Subway Sandwiches".[8]


Among Buck's philanthropic works, he donated the Carmen Lucia ruby to the gem collection at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History[9] and gave a grant to Bowdoin College in 2009 that completed its capital campaign.[10] Consequently, the college's new fitness center bears his name.[5][11]


  1. ^ a b c 2008 Honorary Degree Recipients (Bowdoin, Office of Events and Summer Programs) at the Wayback Machine (archived September 8, 2008)
  2. ^ "Forbes 400: #261 Peter Buck". Forbes. 2015. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Peter Buck". March 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Dedication Ceremony for Peter Buck Center for Health and Fitness". Campus News. Bowdoin College. January 29, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "Entrepreneur's Hall of Fame: Fred Deluca". Let's Talk Business Network. 
  7. ^ "Subway Franchise Information". Entrepreneur (magazine). Retrieved 2013-12-31. 
  8. ^ "Subway Restaurants UK - History". 2012-07-26. Retrieved 2013-12-31. 
  9. ^ "Subway Co-Founder Gives Smithsonian A Gem of a Present". Washington Post. 2004-10-13. Retrieved 2013-12-31. 
  10. ^ "Trustees meeting focuses on finances". The Bowdoin Orient. 13 February 2009. Retrieved 2013-12-31. 
  11. ^ "Peter Buck Center for Health and Fitness to Open Sept. 22, Campus News". Bowdoin College. 8 September 2009. Retrieved 2013-12-31. 

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