The innovative genius who created the McDonald's Big Mac died Monday at age 98, reports the Associate Press. Michael "Jim" Delligatti created the iconic burger 50 years ago, and was dedicated to its success. Delligatti was a Pittsburgh-area McDonald's franchisee who left a huge impact on the fast food giant.

Delligatti created the Big Mac because he wanted to offer a bigger and better McDonald's burger. He told The Associated Press in 2006 that McDonald’s resisted the idea of the Big Mac at first because its simple lineup of hamburgers, cheeseburgers, fries and shakes was selling well. Delligatti is a great example of how persistence can have a monumental impact. 

He invented the Big Mac at his franchise in Uniontown, Pennsylvania — creating the signature burger using two beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions. All loaded onto a sesame seed bun. The monstrous burger went national in 1968. Today, McDonald's is capitalizing on the success of the Big Mac by testing the Sriracha Big Mac in Columbus and adding two more sizes

The image of the Big Mac has changed quite a bit over the past 50 years. And I don't mean just physically. It went from being a symbol of happiness and adolescence, to a symbol of obesity and poor nutrition. While the Big Mac may not be the healthiest thing on the menu, it paved the way for continuous innovation at McDonald's — such as the Quarter Pounder and the McGriddle. What would McDonald's be now without All Day Breakfast?

Delligatti created one of the fast food greats. He saw an opportunity to expand on a simple burger and created an item with a lasting impact. He is an inspirational example of innovation and persistence in the face of adversity.