Taco Bell founder dead at 86 (and seven other recent fast-food mogul deaths)

Taco Bell founder dead at 86 (and seven other recent fast-food mogul deaths)

Nacho tacos from Taco Bell (Photo by Steven Depolo)

Taco Bell founder Glen Bell Jr. died on Sunday night at his home in Rancho Santa Fe at the age of 86, according to a press release sent out by the company. Bell created the Tex-Mex chain in 1962 in California, selling it to PepsiCo in 1978, meaning he’s not to blame for the creation of the Taco Bell Chihuahua or the Taco Bell Drive-Thru Diet viral marketing disaster.

Not to turn this into a trend piece, but Bell is the eighth American fast-food mogul to die within the past two years:

1. Troy Smith, founder of drive-in chain Sonic, died on October 26, 2009, at 87
2. Wilbur Hardee of the Hardee’s hamburger joints, died June 20, 2008, at the age of 89
3 JR Simplott, developer of the first frozen french fries and founder of a potato-processing plant that supplies McDonald’s fries, died at the age of 99 on May 25, 2008
4. Irvine Robbins of Baskin Robbins died at 90 on May 5, 2008
5. Popeyes creator Al Copeland passed at the age of 64 on March 23, 2008
6. Lovie Yancey, founder of Fatburger, died on January 26, 2008, at 96
7. Two weeks before, Carl N. Karcher of Carl’s Jr. died at 90 on January 11

Eerie. With the exception of Copeland, who died from complications from cancer treatment, everyone died of old age and lived a very long life. So does that mean fast food is the key to a long and healthy life?