Peter Buck (restaurateur)

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Peter Buck
Born (1930-12-19) December 19, 1930 (age 88)[1]
ResidenceDanbury, Connecticut
United States
Alma materBowdoin College (B.S., 1952)
Columbia University (M.S; Ph.D., Physics)
Bowdoin College (L.H.D., 2008, honorary) [2]
Co-founder of Subway
Net worthIncrease US$ 1.6 billion (2019)[3]
Spouse(s)Carmen Lúcia[4]

Peter Buck (born December 19, 1930) is an American physicist, restaurateur, and philanthropist. He co-founded the Subway fast food restaurant chain.

Early life and education[edit]

Buck was born in South Portland, Maine, in 1930.[5] He was graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, in 1952. He then earned master’s and doctoral degrees in physics at Columbia University.[2][6][7]



While working as a nuclear physicist for several companies from 1957 to 1978, Buck loaned partner and family friend Fred DeLuca $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".[8] 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.[8] By 1973, they had 16 locations throughout Connecticut and, in 1974, they began franchising out the restaurants.[9] They also introduced Subway's current logo and changed the name of their operation from what was then "Pete's Subway" to "Subway Sandwiches".[10]


Buck is ranked #261 on the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest people, with an estimated net worth of $1.6 billion.[3] He is the ninth-largest landowner in the United States by acreage, according to[11]

Philanthropy, honors and awards[edit]

Among Buck's philanthropic works, he donated the Carmen Lúcia Ruby to the gem collection at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History[12][13] and gave a grant to Bowdoin College in 2009 that completed its capital campaign.[14] Consequently, the college's new fitness center bears his name.[7][15] In 2008, Bowdoin College awarded him an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Buck lives in Danbury, Connecticut.[16] He was married to Carmen Lúcia, who died in 2003.[16]


  1. ^ "Peter Buck 12/19/1930". Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "2008 Honorary Degree Recipients (Bowdoin, Office of Events and Summer Programs)". Archived from the original on September 8, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-08.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  3. ^ a b "Forbes 400: #261 Peter Buck". Forbes. 2015. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  4. ^ "City man donates priceless ruby". The News-Times. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  5. ^ Edwin Durgy. "Peter Buck". Forbes. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  6. ^ "Peter Buck". March 2012.
  7. ^ a b "Dedication Ceremony for Peter Buck Center for Health and Fitness". Campus News. Bowdoin College. January 29, 2010.
  8. ^ a b "Entrepreneur's Hall of Fame: Fred Deluca". Let's Talk Business Network.
  9. ^ "Subway Franchise Information". Entrepreneur. Retrieved 2013-12-31.
  10. ^ "Subway Restaurants UK - History". 2012-07-26. Retrieved 2013-12-31.
  11. ^ "100 Largest Landowners". Land Report. Retrieved 2019-04-17.
  12. ^ "Subway Co-Founder Gives Smithsonian A Gem of a Present". Washington Post. 2004-10-13. Retrieved 2013-12-31.
  13. ^ "Billionaire Peter Buck Buys Rare Objects and Donates Them to Smithsonian Museums". Washington Post. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  14. ^ "Trustees meeting focuses on finances". The Bowdoin Orient. 13 February 2009. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2013-12-31.
  15. ^ "Peter Buck Center for Health and Fitness to Open Sept. 22, Campus News". Bowdoin College. 8 September 2009. Retrieved 2013-12-31.
  16. ^ a b Melanie Grayce West (20 June 2014). "Subway Restaurant Founder Donates $30 Million to Support Danbury Hospital". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 7 July 2015.

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