Mon., 3:45pm: UPDATE Prominent businessman Albert Covelli dies

Albert Covelli Sr., a business visionary who founded Covelli Enterprises and a philanthropic giant, died Saturday at his home in Florida.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

He was 94.

The Covelli name has been well known in Warren since Covelli chose a location on West Market Street for his first McDonald’s franchise in 1959. In the nearly 40 years that followed, Covelli Enterprises became the largest franchisee of McDonald’s restaurants, opening 50 in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Covelli and his son, Sam, sold their interest in McDonald’s and began franchising Panera Bread restaurants in 1997, and since, have become the largest franchisee of that brand, with more than 250 locations in five states and Canada, with a work force of more than 25,000 — 2,000 of them locally.

Complete coverage will appear in Tuesday’s Tribune Chronicle print and electronic editions.