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Texas Roadhouse Founder Kent Taylor Takes His Life After Worsening Post-Coronavirus Symptoms

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Texas Roadhouse CEO and founder Kent Taylor died Thursday after he took his own life following a worsening battle with post-coronavirus symptoms.

“We will miss you, Kent. Because of you and your dream of Texas Roadhouse, we get to say we ❤️ our jobs every day,” a Facebook post from Texas Roadhouse read.

Greg Moore, Lead Director of Texas Roadhouse, said Taylor touched everyone he met in a statement on behalf of the Board of Directors.

“During this pandemic, he gave up his entire compensation package to help support his frontline workers,” Moore said. “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.”

Taylor gave up his base salary and bonus between March 18, 2020 and Jan. 7, 2021 to help pay his front-line workers.

In 2018, Taylor earned $1.3 million, of which $525,000 was his base salary, according to Louisville Business First.

Taylor died by suicide after his post-coronavirus symptoms worsened, a joint statement from Taylor’s family and Texas Roadhouse obtained by the Daily Caller said. Taylor was reportedly suffering from severe tinnitus, which causes ringing in the ear. The coronavirus can make this condition worse, according to the Associated Press. (RELATED: What Is A ‘Suicide Cluster,’ And Why Has COVID Increased Them?)

“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 joint statement 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,” the statement continued.

Texas Roadhouse opened in Clarksville, Indiana in 1993 and is based in Taylor’s hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said Taylor was a “maverick entrepreneur” in a tweet.

“Kent’s kind and generous spirit was his constant driving force whether it was quietly helping a friend or building one of America’s great companies in Texas Roadhouse.”

“He was a maverick entrepreneur who embodied the values of never giving up and putting others first.”