Was it Papa John? Um.....no! (Although we like him!) So who invented pizza? There seems to be some fuzziness on the origin of pizza. And you also have to nail down the definition of pizza in order to trace it's heritage. Putting food on a flat piece of bread has been happening since the beginning of time.
Is that considered pizza? Perhaps.
However, modern pizza as we know it has been attributed to Raffaele Esposito of Naples. In 1889, Esposito, who owned a tavern called the Pizzeria di Pietro baked what he called "pizza" especially for the visit of Italian King Umberto I and Queen Margherita.
Rumor has it that a garlic topping was considered unfit for the royals, so Esposito used a combination of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil on the pizza.
Thank you Raffaele. You are my hero.
A few more pizza inventors:
The first pizzeria in North America was opened in 1905 by Gennaro Lombardi at 53 1/3 Spring Street in New York City.
Frozen pizza was invented by Rose Totino. Yes, that Totino.
Rose came up with the idea to make pizzas and sell them to customers for baking at home. Rose, who was born in 1915, sold Totino's to Pillsbury in 1981 for $20 million. She passed away in 1994.