Kent Taylor, the man who founded the wildly successful Texas Roadhouse restaurant chain, has taken his own life after experiencing severe, post-COVID side effects.
Taylor suffered from tinnitus -- ringing in the ears -- which his family says greatly intensified in the last days of his life and ultimately became unbearable. At its worst, tinnitus can sound like a jet engine roaring inside the ears.
The family said, "Kent battled and fought hard," but ultimately the suffering became too great.
Kent was a master businessman, who founded Texas Roadhouse back in 1993. He came up with the idea on a cocktail napkin and brought it to life with the first restaurant located in Louisville, Kentucky. The plan took hold, and eventually, there were 537 Texas Roadhouses in 49 states, with 10 international locations.
Kent got national attention last Spring when he earmarked his entire salary to help support frontline workers during the pandemic.
He suffered from tinnitus, but it apparently flared up in a big way after he contracted COVID. There's data indicating tinnitus is exacerbated by coronavirus.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said, "He was a maverick entrepreneur who embodied the values of never giving up and putting others first."
Kent was 65.