NEW YORK -- Subway says its co-founder Fred DeLuca died Monday evening after being diagnosed with leukemia two years ago. He was 67.
DeLuca's death came weeks after the company celebrated its 50th anniversary.
DeLuca decided to open a sandwich shop to help pay for college after graduating high school. The idea came from a family friend, Peter Buck, who was his co-founder and provided the $1,000 to start the business.
Subway, based in Milford, Connecticut, said in July 2013 that DeLuca was diagnosed with leukemia.
It said that DeLuca was in regular contact with his management team, but on a reduced basis as he received treatment. DeLuca is survived by his wife, sister and son, according to Subway.
The chain has been buffeted by bad press in recent months following the arrest of its longtime spokesman, Jared Fogle, on child pornography and sex-with-minors charges. Fogle, 37, last month agreed to plead guilty to the charges in exchange for a reduced prison sentence.