RANCHO SANTA FE, Calif., Jan. 19 (UPI) -- The founder of Taco Bell restaurants, Glen W. Bell Jr., has died at his home in California at age 86, the company's Web site announced.
The announcement was posted Sunday and did not give details of the entrepreneur's death, The New York Times reported.
Bell added tacos to the menu of Bell's Hamburgers and Hot Dogs in 1951, having run the drive-in restaurant since the late 1940s to cater to the car culture of San Bernardino, Calif.
Bell's hamburger joint was only a few miles away from the first McDonald's, the Times said.
At Bell's restaurant, the 19 cent tacos were such a hit, he opened Taco Tia, an all-Mexican restaurant in 1954. With his partner reluctant to expand after three restaurants, Bell opened El Tacos in 1957. After an expansion to four restaurants, Bell struck out on is own with Taco Bell, which opened in 1962.
In 1978, with 868 restaurants, Bell sold the business to PepsiCo for about $125 million -- a sizable return on the original $4,000 it took to open the first Taco Bell in Torrance, Calif.