Taco Bell founder Glen W. Bell, Jr. passes away

Fans of fast food tacos, nachos, and gorditas will want to make a sad run for the border today. The franchise's founding father, Glen W. Bell, Jr., passed away last night. He was 86. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, three sisters, three children, and four grandchildren.

The California businessman began his career running a hotdog and hamburger stand with a friend from high school, but soon shifted the menu to tacos and other Mexican fair, using the successful McDonald brothers as a business model. In 1978 he sold 868 Taco Bell's to PepsiCo. (the chain is currently owned by Yum! Brands Inc.).

Also of note: As pointed out on, Bell is one of several restaurant founders to die at a relatively old age. The founders of Sonic, Baskin-Robbins, Fatburger, and Carl's Jr. all lived to be in their late 80s and 90s.