Creator of the Iconic "Anthora" Cup Dies at 87

By Erica Butler
|  Friday, Apr 30, 2010  |  Updated 4:19 PM EDT
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You might not recognize his name, but you probably drank from his cup.

Leslie Buck, the creator of the "Anthora", the blue and white cardboard cup with Grecian design, has died at the age of 87 after complications from Parkinson's disease.

His iconic cup, which has held tea and coffee for New Yorkers for half a century,has become an emblem of New York tradition seen in films and on TV.  Now, it is most likely seen in delis and food carts across the city, warming up hands and hearts with the iconic phrase "We Are Happy, To Serve You" written in gold lettering on the front.

But as recognizable as the cup is, little is known about the man behind it.

Leslie Buck, born Laszlo Buch, was originally from the Ukraine but came to the U.S. after his parents were killed by the Nazis during World War II.  When he and his brother arrived in New York, they started an import-export business.  

Soon after, Buck joined Sherri Cup, now Solo Cup Company, where he devised the idea for his classic cup.  He developed the design after deciding to market it to New York diners, which were mainly owned by Greeks at the time.

Though Buck did not make royalties from the cup, he did well in sales commission.  According to The New York Times, in 2005 the Solo Cup Company reportedly sold 200 million cups a year.  Today the cup company only makes the Anthora by special request.

Leslie Buck is survived by his wife ,Ella Farkas, and his brother, Eugene; his son, Robert, as well as two daughters, Beverly Eisenoff and Linda Rush, and four grandchildren.

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