Feb 24 Paul McIlhenny, the chairman and chief
executive of the Louisiana company that makes Tabasco brand
pepper sauce, has died at age 68, the McIlhenny Co said on
McIlhenny died on Saturday, the family-owned company said in
a news release that described him as "a true bon vivant" whose
passions included hunting, fishing, wine-tasting and game
He was a sixth-generation member of the McIlhenny family to
live on Avery Island in the southern Louisiana bayou, and a
fourth-generation member to produce pepper sauces sold worldwide
under the Tabasco brand.
The McIlhenny company was founded in 1868 on Avery Island.
It supplies hot sauce to the U.S. presidential plane Air Force
One and to Britain's royal family, the Times-Picayune newspaper
said on its website.
Paul McIlhenny joined the company in 1967 and directly
oversaw the production of its sauces for 13 years, expanding
both its line of spicy sauces and the array of aprons, neckties
and other merchandise bearing the familiar red-and-green Tabasco
He spent much of his time in New Orleans and in 2006 he
reigned as Rex, the first King of Carnival during Mardi Gras
celebrations after the city was devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
"All of McIlhenny Company and the McIlhenny and Avery
families are deeply saddened by this news," said Tony Simmons,
president of McIlhenny Co and fifth-generation McIlhenny family
member. "We will clearly miss Paul's devoted leadership but will
more sorely feel the loss of his acumen, his charm and his
irrepressible sense of humor."
(Reporting by Jane Sutton; Editing by Eric Walsh)