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Taco Bell Designer, Former President McKay Dies at 86

  • Associated Press

Robert L. McKay, who designed the first Taco Bell restaurant and with founder Glenn Bell turned it from a quirky food stand into a fast-food empire, has died. He was 86.

His son, Rob McKay, said McKay died last week of cancer.

FILE - A Taco Bell restaurant is pictured in Metairie, La. Robert L. McKay, who designed the first Taco Bell restaurant and with founder Glenn Bell turned it into a fast-food empire, died last week. He was 86.
FILE - A Taco Bell restaurant is pictured in Metairie, La. Robert L. McKay, who designed the first Taco Bell restaurant and with founder Glenn Bell turned it into a fast-food empire, died last week. He was 86.

Bell opened his first Taco Bell in Downey, California, in 1962, selling hard-shell tacos and other Mexican-inspired fast food.

McKay was an architect and designed the Spanish-style arched and tiled building that became the chain's signature look.

McKay eventually became president of Taco Bell, which had 900 restaurants when it was sold to PepsiCo in 1978.

He went on to finance other businesses that invested in technology, consumer products, real estate and banking.

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