PITTSBURGH (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Pittsburgh-area McDonald’s franchisee who created the Big Mac nearly 50 years ago has died. James Delligatti was 98.

McDonald’s spokeswoman Kerry Ford confirmed that Delligatti died at home surrounded by his family on Monday night.

READ MORE: Police Reveal More Details In Death Of 10-Year-Old Ayden Wolfe; Mother's Boyfriend Ryan Cato Faces Murder Charges

More: Notable Deaths 2016 

Delligatti’s franchise was based in Uniontown, about 40 miles south of Pittsburgh, when he invented the chain’s signature burger with two all-beef patties,  “special sauce,” lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.

READ MORE: Long Island Rail Road Riders Face Crowded Trains On First Day Of Service Cuts

Delligatti told The Associated Press in 2006 that Oak Brook, Illinois-based McDonald’s resisted the idea at first, because its simple lineup of hamburgers, cheeseburgers, fries and shakes were selling well.

But Delligatti wanted to offer a bigger burger and it went over so well it spread to the rest of Delligatti’s 47 stores, then went national in 1968.

MORE NEWS: NYPD Making Progress Bringing In And Promoting Women, But It Still Has A Lot Of Work To Do

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)