Paul C.P. McIlhenny, chief executive and chairman of the board of the McIlhenny Company that makes the trademarked line of Tabasco hot pepper sauces sold the world over, has died. He was 68. McIlhenny was a member of a storied clan whose 145-year-old company has been producing the original world-famous Tabasco sauce on Louisiana's Avery Island for several generations, since shortly after the Civil War. A company statement today credited McIlhenny's leadership with introducing several new varieties of hot sauces sold under the Tabasco brand and for greatly expanding their global reach.
"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," said McIlhenny Company president Tony Simmons of the executive who once proclaimed, "We're defending the world against bland food." (Read more Paul McIlhenny stories.)