The Heartbreaking Death Of Texas Roadhouse CEO Kent Taylor

Employees and fans are mourning the passing of Texas Roadhouse CEO, Kent Taylor, whose death was announced by his family on Sunday. In a statement sent to several media outlets, Taylor's family confirmed that the CEO took his own life after fighting off COVID-19. "Kent battled and fought hard like the former track champion that he was, but the suffering that greatly intensified in recent days became unbearable," they said (via CNBC).

Taylor had recovered from COVID-19, but was brought down by post-coronavirus symptoms, which included severe tinnitus that causes severe ringing in the ears. Mayo Clinic describes it as a noise a sufferer hears, but isn't caused by an external source. The sound can be a buzzing, a roaring, a clicking, hissing, or humming. In certain cases, the sound can be so loud that it can keep a sufferer from hearing anything else. Some COVID sufferers have reported tinnitus after getting the disease (via WebMD).

Friends and co-workers were shocked by the news of Kent Taylor's passing

Heartbroken staff took to social media to react, sharing a photo of Taylor and a tribute which read, "We will miss you, Kent. Because of you and your dream of Texas Roadhouse, we get to say we (love) our jobs every day" (via CNBC). Among those that also paid tribute to Taylor was sports newscaster, Dick Vitale, who wrote on Twitter, "I'm in shock as Kent Taylor loved helping others. He helped us ⁦@TheVFoundation⁩. He supported my Gala & I had fan time when I was a keynote speaker at his annual event. My prayers go to his family & friends May Kent RIP."

Greg Fischer, Mayor of Louisville, Ky., also offered his condolences to Taylor's loved ones, saying, "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 @texasroadhouse," Fisher wrote. "He was a maverick entrepreneur who embodied the values of never giving up and putting others first" (via CNBC). Taylor will be succeeded by Texas Roadhouse President, Jerry Morgan.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness Helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.