Written by By Anna Shah, CNN
Eighty-two-year-old Peter Buck died on September 8 in Manhattan, according to his wife, Gloria.
Buck co-founded the famous New York City Subway Sandwich chain in 1965. At the time he met Bob Lazar, an aspiring advertising and public relations man in Manhattan, who became his business partner.
At the time, Buck was a talented American minimalist composer, whose music was featured in films such as “A Clockwork Orange” and “Fateless.”
As the two began looking for restaurant ideas, Buck was familiar with the New York area and saw opportunities in the restaurants of the generation.
“I grew up in a world where they’re not doing all those kinds of ads for 50 cents a stick,” Buck told the website saidogram.com , who interviewed him a decade ago. “I didn’t feel like I was punching a clock. I felt like I was one of the guys.
“It was time for me to take a leap of faith, make a killing, make my mark, but to spend my life making music.”
How people ate from the end of World War II until the 1960s was transformed with the rise of what would eventually become the Subway Sandwich chain. This image shows students enjoying a fried duck egg with bacon and tomato on New York City’s Trinity Church’s west side in 1956. Credit: Barry Martin/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Lazar moved with Buck to New York to set up the Subway sandwich business, in conjunction with Robert Friedenberger, a Bauhaus-trained architect and an authority on classic architecture. Together, Buck and Lazar also opened two diners, the Madras Chicken Diner in 1965 and the Madras Bacon Pie Diner in 1968.
They launched the Subway’s first shop in Astoria, Queens, with the idea of selling a sandwich at a low price. Today, there are over 11,000 Subway shops in more than 120 countries.
As well as finding success with the Subway sandwich chain, Buck is celebrated for his groundbreaking work in 1970s experimental cinema.
In 1977, he collaborated with Jean Michel Basquiat, to collaborate on a series of films known as “Madness Begins” that explored the unscripted filmmaking experience of an artist.
In 1968, Buck and Lazar left their restaurant business to film and direct documentaries together. They released “Maui,” their first feature length film, about the swimmer Walter Mitty, who is obsessed with the idea of exploring paradise.
Buck remained an active business partner in Subway until 1993, when he handed over his share to Lazar.
In 1999, Buck became the publisher of a publication called It’s Never Too Late to Be Important, a coffee table book containing artist’s scores composed between 1959 and 1975.