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Herb Petersen
Herb Peterson.png
Herb Peterson
Vital Information
Born: (1919-01-05)January 5, 1919
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died: March 25, 2008(2008-03-25) (aged 89)
Deathplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
Career information
Businessman, McDonald's executive, later restaurant franchisee

Herbert Ralph "Herb" Peterson (January 5, 1919 – March 25, 2008) was a fast food] executive and food scientist, most known for being the inventor of the McDonald's Egg McMuffin in 1972.[1][2] The breakfast business that he pioneered with this item had grown to an estimated $4–5 billion in annual revenues for the fast food restaurant chain McDonald's by 1993.[3]

Peterson trying his prize creation, the Egg McMuffin sandwich, in 2006.

Life and career

Born and raised in Chicago, Petersen, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he attained the rank of Major in three years during World War II, began his career with McDonald's as vice president at D'Arcy Advertising in Chicago, which was McDonald's in-house advertising arm,[1] Peterson coined McDonald's first national ad slogan, "Where Quality Starts Fresh Every Day."[1] [4]

As a He later became a franchise co-owner and the operator of six McDonald's restaurants in and around Santa Barbara, CA.[5]

Peterson developed the Egg McMuffin, which has become a McDonald's breakfast signature item, in 1972. Peterson was said to like eggs benedict, so he worked to develop a breakfast item which was similar to it for the fast food chain.[1] Peterson eventually came up with the Egg McMuffin, which was an egg sandwich consisting of an egg formed in a Teflon circle with the yolks broken, topped with Canadian Bacon and a slice of cheese.[1] The Egg McMuffin was served as an open faced sandwich on a buttered and toasted English muffin.[1]

The Egg McMuffin was first sold at a McDonald's in Goleta, California (near Santa Barbara), which Peterson co-owned with his son, David Peterson.[1]


Peterson died in Santa Barbara on March 25, 2008, at the age of 89. [6] He was survived by his wife, son and three daughters.[1] A memorial service for Peterson was held on April 23, 2008, in Montecito, California. Herb is the grandfather of professional surfer Lakey Peterson.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 "Egg McMuffin inventor Herb Peterson dies in California at 89", Associated Press, International Herald Tribune, 2008-03-27. Retrieved on 2008-03-27. 
  2. Date of birth, and that born in U.S.A., from Genealogue Challenge #123
  3. Steve Weiss (June 1993). The scoop on the egg McMuffin. Restaurants & Institutions. Retrieved on 2008-03-27. Template:Dead link
  4. McDonald's Innovator Dies at 89: Herb Peterson Created Egg McMuffin and Ronald McDonald, By Emily Bryson York. Published on March 27, 2008, for Ad, accessed 8/15/2014.
  5. Denise Petski (2008-03-26). Egg McMuffin inventor dies at 89. Associated Press. Seattle Post Intelligence. Retrieved on 2008-03-27. Template:Dead link
  6. Egg McMuffin inventor dies at 89. Los Angeles Daily News (2008-03-26). Archived from the original on April 20 2008. Retrieved on 2008-03-27.

External links

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