The Women Who Named The ‘Big Mac’ Received A Plaque

Big MacHere’s the inside story behind the woman who came up with the name “Big Mac” for McDonald’s. Despite coining what could be the greatest marketing name in history, she never received any money for it. As Alan P. Henry wrote in the Glenview Lantern:

The next time you prepare to chomp into a Big Mac, take a moment first to thank Esther Glickstein Rose of Glenview. She’s the one who named it, and without her dogged persistence, the iconic sandwich may never have become a McDonald’s product.

The story begins 45 years ago on a snowy winter day in downtown Chicago in 1967. With ten dollars to her name, the 17-year-old Von Steuben High School graduate saw an ad for a secretary at McDonald’s corporate headquarters. Poorly dressed and soaking wet from the commute into the LaSalle Street office, she was spotted in a hallway by a company official, who promptly hired her. “I guess she felt sorry for me, the way I looked,” said Esther, 65, who has lived in Glenview since 1978.

One day soon thereafter, the head of product development stopped by her desk, told her he was headed to a board meeting where they were going to name a new double burger product and asked for her suggestions. “I just said off the top of my head, ‘Big Mac, that’s it!'”

Read More: Glenview Lantern


Robert Sterling
Editor, The Konformist

Robert Sterling is the editor of The Konformist, the internet underground magazine dedicated to “rebellion, konspiracy & subversion.”With its debut in April 1996 at the start of the 90s conspiracy culture, it quickly became the leading source for conspiracy theory information, the place where conspiracies transform from underground rumor to mainstream news.

But, as Disinformation noted in its biography of Sterling, "In the twilight world of conspiracy theory, Robert Sterling is one of the few researchers able to temper his moral outrage with the bracing sting of humour."No less an authority as satirist Paul Krassner declared, "One of the main reasons I ceased publication of The Realist after 40 years is because The Konformist is carrying on its tradition in cyberspace."The Konformist received a Project Censored Award in 2001 for excellence in alternative journalism.Robert Sterling was also named one of the ten great "Princes of Paranoia" by, awarding the leading writers and reporters of conspiracy theory.

"Run by the hard-working, never fearing Robert Sterling, The Konformist is a forced interrogation of the mind of the Beast. Sterling has single-handedly created a vast collection of news items and articles that will thrill you -- even as you realize the you are a tool."
Adam Mortimer, MTV Entertainment

"Dark times require minds who can see through a glass darkly, Sterling's well-timed humour prevents his writings from falling into the over-arching 'grand narrative' traps...If you're going to enter the conspiracy theory ballpark, Robert Sterling is a voice you cannot ignore."

"Sardonic humor and brash attitude enliven this conspiratorial look at the day's issues, including JonBenet, Columbine, gas prices, Giuliani, JFK Jr., and, um, the world's largest gang bang."
The Village Voice
  • Bass Clarinet

    she didn’t deserve any more than a plaque. she was presumably paid by the hour. her contract  presumably stipulated no commission or other compensation. it’s like when a research chemist gets a flat salary and the company owns everything they create on the job.

    • Eric_D_Read

      Good point. She never should have suggested the name.
      An employee, either paid per hour or salaried, should never contribute anything more to their employer than the absolute bare minimum demanded by their job description.

    • RC


      Although you’re quite correct in your assertion, some companies DO reward their employees with some kind of recognition (monetary and/or otherwise) for thinking outside the box.

      Think “Employee Suggestion Boxes.”

      But, not all companies take this progressive approach. :)

  • D.D.B.

    Plaque? Where on her arterial walls?

  • Joel

    im disappointed this doesnt mention craig mac or biggie smalls

  • zwagbog

    That awkward moment when you expect one million dollars and instead all you get is one lousy plaque. 

  • zwagbog

    That awkward moment when you expect one million dollars and instead all you get is one lousy plaque.

  • Chrislee 2006

    45 years ago she was 17 years old and now she’s 65?  Something doesn’t add up with the facts

  • Coconut_boyee

    if she lives in Glenview then she didn’t do so bad herself after all

  • JesesJew

    I bet Ann Frank told her the name too. Strange how the holocaust always comes up in conversations.