Taco Bell founder dies at 86

The Inland Empire has been called the birthplace of fast food, and Glen William Bell Jr. was one of those who got his start here.

He is best known for founding the restaurant which still bears his name, Taco Bell, but also co-founded Taco Tia here in San Bernardino and had a hand in the creation of Wienerschnitzel (founder John Galardi worked for Bell; Bell created their chili recipe; and Bell’s wife came up with the name).

He was also friends with Neal T. Baker, who founded Baker’s Drive-Thru, and former Bell employee Ed Hackbarth founded Casa del Taco, now simply known as Del Taco.

Bell died yesterday (January 17) at his home in Rancho Santa Fe. He is survived by his wife, Martha, three sisters, two sons and four grandchildren.

A link to the press release from Taco Bell can be found here (hover over Our Company at the top, then click on Latest News).

Sun writer Andrew Edwards spoke to Stater Bros.’ Jack Brown and Juan Pollo’s Albert Okura about Bell’s legacy and has included their comments in an obituary for tomorrow’s paper. You can find it online here.