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Chicago Pizza Pioneer Behind Rosati’s Dies at 102

Fred Rosati died Monday in Arizona

A table full of pizzas.
Rosati’s Pizza has more than 200 locations across the U.S.
Rosati’s Pizza [Official Photo]

Fred Rosati, who helped his brothers who founded the Rosati’s Pizza chain — a chain started in 1964 in suburban Mount Prospect — has died. Two of Rosati’s brothers founded the chain, and Fred Rosati played an integral part at growing the company to 200 locations across the country. The company on Wednesday announced Rosati’s death. He died Monday in Arizona at age 102.

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our Founder FRED ROSATI who passed away yesterday at 102 years...

Posted by Rosati's Pizza on Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The Daily Herald spoke with Rosati’s sons who run the company. When Rosati’s opened 56 years ago, it specialized in thin-crust pizzas, based on recipes many Italian immigrants who lived in Chicago brought back with them. Rosati’s family lived in New York in the late 1800s before moving to Chicago. Fred Rosati co-founded the restaurant’s franchise company in the ‘70s, according to the Daily Herald. Thin crusts have morphed into Chicago-style tavern-cut, and Rosati’s has since added deep dish to the menu. Rosati’s is particularly popular in the northern suburbs, through there are six Chicago locations. A new location is planned for Logan Square at 2218 N. California Avenue.

Fred Rosati, a loyal Chicago Cubs fans, is also survived by his wife. Theresa is 100. Burial will be private, with a public celebration planned for later, according to the Daily Herald.

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