Family of Texas Roadhouse founder/CEO Kent Taylor releases more information about his death
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WSAZ) – The family of Texas Roadhouse founder and CEO Kent Taylor said Friday that Taylor took his own life after a battle with post-COVID-related symptoms.
In a statement, the family said those symptoms included severe tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
The Louisville-based restaurant said Thursday that Taylor had died. He founded the company in 1993, which expanded to more than 630 locations in 49 states, including local locations in Ashland, Kentucky, and Barboursville, West Virginia.
Following is the entire statement released Friday by the family:
“Our community and the restaurant industry lost a legend and the Taylor family lost a wonderful son, father and grandad this week.
“After a battle with post-Covid related symptoms, including severe tinnitus, Kent Taylor took his own life this week. Kent battled and fought hard like the former track champion that he was, but the suffering that greatly intensified in recent days became unbearable.
“But in true Kent fashion, he always found a silver lining to help others. Most recently, he committed to fund a clinical study to help members of the military who also suffer with tinnitus.
“Kent leaves an unmatched legacy as a people-first leader, which is why he often said that Texas Roadhouse was a people company that just happened to serve steaks. He changed the lives of hundreds of millions of employees and guests over the past 28 years. He also impacted hundreds of thousands of people through his generous and often anonymous donations.
“Kent famously created what would eventually become Texas Roadhouse on a cocktail napkin. He leaves behind a legendary company led by his hand-picked Leadership Team fueled by the passion of Roadies in communities around the world.
“All who knew him will miss him greatly and Kent’s direction was always clear. Happy employees make happy guests.
“We are saddened by the decision Kent felt he needed to make and want to emphasize more than ever the importance of reaching out for help if you or someone you love is suffering.
“As Kent would so often say, ‘keep it legendary.’ "
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