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Texas Roadhouse CEO commits suicide following 'unbearable' post-COVID-19 symptoms

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Restaurant chain confirmed the death in a Facebook post

Matthew Staver/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Kent Taylor, Texas Roadhouse CEO, is dead at the age of 65 after taking his own life.

According to his family, Taylor committed suicide after suffering post-COVID-19 related symptoms, including "severe tinnitus."

What are the details?

According to WCMH-TV, Taylor died Thursday.

In a statement, Taylor's family confirmed that the CEO "took his own life" after battling "post-COVID-related symptoms, including severe tinnitus."

"Kent battled and fought hard like the former track champion that he was, but the suffering that greatly intensified in recent days became unbearable," the family's statement said. "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."

In a Facebook post, the restaurant said, "We will miss you, Kent. Because of you and your dream of Texas Roadhouse, we get to say we [love] our jobs every day."

What else?

Taylor made news over the last year by donating his salary to frontline restaurant workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to The Hill, the donation from Taylor's base salary "amounted to just under $525,000 and his bonus was $525,000 as well."

"On a prorated basis, the foregone salary and bonus would be just under $1 million donation to employees," a spokesperson said at the time.

In a statement, the family and the restaurant jointly said, “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."

“He leaves behind a legendary company led by his hand-picked Leadership Team fueled by the passion of Roadies in communities around the world," his family and the restaurant chain said.

“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," they added. “As Kent would so often say, 'keep it legendary.'"

The company's board of directors announced that its president, Jerry Morgan, would assume the CEO role.

Texas Roadhouse, which is known for its steak and ribs, opened in 1993. Based in Louisville, Kentucky, the restaurant chain has over 600 restaurants in 49 states.

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