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Taco Bell Founder Dies: What Killed The 10 Giants Of American Fast Food?

by | 19th, January 2010

TACO Bell founder Glen W. Bell has died. (If you see Mr Taco, tell him to take care.) Mr Bell is the tenth fast food legend to die in recent years. Anorak’s Man in LA looks at the pattern:

“WHO is killing the great fast food giants of America?” That was the question we asked back in 2008, after an astounding eight legends of the fast food industry were taken unexpectedly, one after another, in a succession that was obvious and disturbing to all but the most vehement conspiracy deniers — and lazy, complacent, fast food-chomping journalists. So it’s almost amusing that with the announcement yesterday of the death of Taco Bell founder Glen W. Bell (who knew that there was actually a guy named “Bell” behind Taco Bell?).

In fact, Glen W. Bell is at least the tenth fast food legend to die in recent years. And that’s ten before we stopped counting.
We stopped counting the mysterious deaths of the ones who clogged our arteries, turned our children into butterballs and made Disneyland even more crowded more than a year ago. See, what we do is lay the groundwork for the paid journos to do their jobs and investigate.
Then we move onto the next major story that the mainstream and even new media will pick up on two years later. In the case of Danny Gans, the paid pros of Las Vegas showed how conflict of interest and powerful forces in city can stop newshounds cold, but a story like this? we can take heart that Gawker at least picked up on the story we uncovered– even though they didn’t have the grace to attribute the legwork behind their “at least the seventh fast food mogul” snark (despite the tips our staff send their way each week).
The true body count? We go back to 2008:


Wilbur Hardee

founder of Hardee’s (June 20).

Neil Baker
Baker’s Drive-Thru and Taco Bell (May 31),

J.R. Simplot
king of the frozen french fries (May 25),

Irvine “Irv” Robbins
co-founder of Baskin-Robbins (May 5),

Herb Peterson
inventor of the Egg McMuffin (March 25),

Al Copeland
founder of Popeye’s Famous Fried Chicken (March 23),

Lovie Yancie
founder of Fatburger (January 23),

Carl Karcher
founder of Carl’s Jr. (January 11),

mr-taco-bell1Glen Bell was 86.Troy Smith, the Oklahoma entrepreneur who built a drive-in in Shawnee, Oklahoma into the Sonic fast-food chain, died at 87 on October 26th.

And though we do not count franchise restaurant chains, Don Callender, credited with building Marie Callender’s into a Southern California pie and restaurant empire, died on January 6th, 2009. – TB



Posted: 19th, January 2010 | In: The Consumer Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink