According to a statement made by the restaurant chain, Kent Taylor, the CEO and founder of Texas Roadhouse died at the age of 65. Family members later stated that they believe the CEO took his own life due to severe tinnitus, a symptom that was brought on by Coronavirus.
Kent Taylor, CEO of Texas Roadhouse, Takes Life Due to Post COVID-19 Symptoms
Saddened to hear Texas Roadhouse founder Kent Taylor took his life after suffering through persisting after-effects of COVID-19. I remember he gave up his salary during the early part of the pandemic to protect employee compensation. Please remember the gravity of this pandemic.
— Corey Dean Stone 📸 (@coreydeanstone) March 22, 2021
Greg Moore, Lead Director, provided this statement on behalf of the Board of Directors: "We are deeply saddened by the loss of Kent Taylor. He founded Texas Roadhouse and dedicated himself to building it into a legendary experience for "Roadies" and restaurant guests alike. During the pandemic, he gave up his entire compensation package to help support his frontline workers. This selfless act was no surprise to anyone who knew Kent and his strong belief in servant leadership. He was without a doubt, a people-first leader. His entrepreneurial spirit will live on in the company he built, the projects he supported, and the lives he touched."
Taylor's family shared how much he wanted to help the community. Last year he gave up his compensation package to pay frontline workers. In recent days Taylor had committed to funding a clinical study to help military members suffering from tinnitus.
What is Tinnitus?
According to Sky News, scientists estimate nearly 15% of people with the virus suffered tinnitus, and nearly 8% suffered hearing loss. Tinnitus is categorized at a ringing or buzzing noise in one or both ears and can be constant or come and go. In many instances, tinnitus cannot be cured. People living with tinnitus may attend therapy or use white noise machines and masking devices to lessen the ringing.
The History of Texas Roadhouse
Headquartered in Taylor's hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, Texas Roadhouse currently operates over 600 locations across the world. Taylor opened the first Texas Roadhouse in 1993 in Clarksville, Indiana, and it soon became a popular dining destination.
Louisville lost a much loved and one-of-a-kind citizen with Kent Taylor’s passing today. Kent’s kind and generous spirit was his constant driving force whether it was quietly helping a friend or building one of America’s great companies in @texasroadhouse. 1/2
— Mayor Greg Fischer (@louisvillemayor) March 19, 2021
"Kent's kind and generous spirit was his constant driving force whether it was quietly helping a friend or building one of America's great companies in @texasroadhouse," Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said on Twitter. "He was a maverick entrepreneur who embodied the values of never giving up and putting others first."
If you or someone you know is in distress, please call the suicide hotline at 800-273-8255. Available 24 hours and confidential.