Tabasco Maker CEO Paul McIlhenny Dies At 68
The chief executive of the company that makes the trademarked line of Tabasco hot pepper sauces sold all over the world has died at 68.
Paul McIlhenny, chief executive and chairman of the board of McIlhenny Co., died on Saturday at his New Orleans home of apparent heart attack, the local newspaper Times-Picayune reported.
He is credited with introducing several new varieties of hot sauces sold under the Tabasco brand and with greatly expanding their global reach.
Mr McIlhenny also helped develop items that could feature the well-known Tabasco logo, such as T-shirts, aprons and computer screensavers.
The 145-year-old company, based on south Louisiana's Avery Island, has been producing the original Tabasco sauce for several generations, since shortly after the Civil War.
Mr McIlhenny joined the company in 1967 and directly oversaw the production and quality of all products sold under the brand for 13 years, according to a company statement that announced his death.
He was known for an ebullient personality and sharp sense of humour.
"We're defending the world against bland food," he once joked before he presided over a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans, according to the Times-Picayune.
Patriarch Edmund McIlhenny founded the company in 1868. Today, Tabasco products are sold in more than 165 countries and territories.