Kent Taylor Biography, Wiki
Kent Taylor, the founder, and chief executive of the Texas Roadhouse restaurant chain, died on Thursday. He was turned down more than 80 times as he initially tried to find investors. Kent Taylor was the CEO of Texas Roadhouse.
Wayne Kent Taylor was born on Sept. 27, 1955, at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., where his father, Powell Taylor, was a lieutenant in the Army. He was raised in Louisville, where his father worked for General Electric and his mother, Marilyn (Bergmann) Taylor, was a buyer for a local boutique. Mr. Taylor graduated from the University of North Carolina, where he received a track scholarship.
Greg Moore, the lead director of the company’s board, said in a statement that Mr. Taylor gave up his compensation package during the coronavirus pandemic to support frontline workers in the company.
Jerry Morgan, the company’s president, will succeed Mr. Taylor as chief executive. Texas Roadhouse will announce its next chairman at a later date, Mr. Doster said.
Senator Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky and the minority leader, said in a statement that Mr. Taylor “didn’t fit the mold of a big-time C.E.O.”
“Kent built a billion-dollar company with creativity, grit, and a lot of bold risks,” Mr. McConnell said. “As Texas Roadhouse stretched around the globe, Kent kept his heart and his headquarters in Louisville.”
Kent Taylor has died at the age of 65-years-old.
Family & Siblings
In addition to his parents, Mr. Taylor is survived by his children, Michelle, Brittney, and Max; and five grandchildren. He was married twice; both marriages ended in divorce.
Taylor’s family released a statement confirming his cause of death, according to CNBC.
“Taylor died by suicide after a battle with post-Covid-19 related symptoms, including severe tinnitus,” the family’s statement said, describing ringing in the ear.
“After a battle with post-Covid related symptoms, including severe tinnitus, Kent Taylor took his own life this week,” the family said. “Kent battled and fought hard like the former track champion that he was, but the suffering that greatly intensified in recent days became unbearable.”
Mr. Taylor, who was also the chairman of the company’s board of directors, founded Texas Roadhouse in 1993. He sought to create an “affordable, Texas-style” restaurant but was turned down more than 80 times as he tried to find investors, according to a biography provided by the company.
Eventually, he raised $300,000 from three doctors from Elizabethtown, Ky., and sketched out the design for the first Texas Roadhouse on a cocktail napkin for the investors.
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The first Texas Roadhouse opened in Clarksville, Ind., in 1993. Three of the chain’s first five restaurants failed, but it went on to open 611 locations in 49 states, and 28 international locations in 10 countries.
Until his death, Mr. Taylor had been active in Texas Roadhouse’s day-to-day operations, the company said. He oversaw decisions about the menu, selected the murals for the restaurants, and personally picked songs for the jukeboxes.
Cause of Death (COVID-19)
Kent Taylor was the CEO of Texas Roadhouse. He died at the age of 65 after struggling with the after-effects of COVID-19.
His cause of death was tragic; he died of suicide. “We will miss you, Kent. Because of you and your dream of Texas Roadhouse, we get to say we ❤ our jobs every day. #WeLoveYouKent #TXRHFamily #RoadhouseStrong,” Texas Roadhouse wrote in a statement on its Facebook page.
— Restaurant News (@NRNonline) March 19, 2021
Texas Roadhouse announced Taylor’s death on March 18, 2021, in a press release. “Texas Roadhouse, Inc., today announced the passing of its founder and Chief Executive Officer, Kent Taylor,” the release says.
Kent Taylor, the founder, and chief executive of the Texas Roadhouse restaurant chain, died by suicide on Thursday after suffering from post-Covid-19 symptoms, the company and his family said in a statement. He was 65.
“After a battle with post-Covid-related symptoms, including severe tinnitus, Kent Taylor took his own life this week,” the statement said.
Mr. Taylor fought the condition, but “the suffering that greatly intensified in recent days became unbearable,” the statement said. It added that Mr. Taylor had recently committed to funding “a clinical study to help members of the military who also suffer from tinnitus,” which causes ringing and other noises in the ear.
His body was found in a field on his property near Louisville, Ky., the Kentucky State Police told The Louisville Courier-Journal. The State Police and the Oldham County coroner did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Sunday.
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.”
The release says that Kent Taylor “founded Texas Roadhouse in 1993 and held various positions, including most recently Chairman of the Board and CEO.”
On March 19, the company announced Taylor’s replacement: President Jerry Morgan.
“Morgan’s appointment to CEO was part of the Company’s succession plan, which was enacted following the passing of Kent Taylor, the founder, CEO, and Chairman of the Board on March 18, 2021,” the company wrote in another press release.
“While you never expect the loss of such a visionary as Kent, our succession plan, which Kent led, gives us great confidence. Jerry’s operational background and 20-plus years of Texas Roadhouse experience will be key in helping the Company and Roadies move forward after such a tragic loss,” said Greg Moore, Lead Texas Roadhouse Director.
The company explained that Moran is a “23-year veteran of Texas Roadhouse, Morgan has more than 35 years of restaurant management experience with Texas Roadhouse, Bennigan’s, and Burger King. Morgan started his Texas Roadhouse career in 1997 as Managing Partner of the Company’s first restaurant in Texas. He earned the Company’s most prestigious award, Managing Partner of the Year, in 2001 and was promoted to Market Partner later that year. He was promoted to Regional Market Partner in 2015 and was appointed President in 2020.”