Kent Taylor, the founder and CEO of the American restaurant chain Texas Roadhouse, died on Thursday, according to a Facebook post made by the company on March 19th. He was 65.
Taylor committed suicide after his suffering from longterm covid-19 symptoms, including tinnitus, had increased days prior to his death, according to a statement sent to CNN from his family and company.
"Our community and the restaurant industry lost a legend and the Taylor family lost a wonderful son, father and grandad this week. Kent leaves an unmatched legacy as a people-first leader, which is why he often said that Texas Roadhouse was a people company that just happened to serve steaks," the statement said.
"Kent battled and fought hard like the former track champion that he was, but the suffering that greatly intensified in recent days became unbearable,” said the Taylor family in a statement to The Charlotte Observer.
A COVID-19 study looking at the link between the virus and worsening tinnitus was posted in November. Researchers found the virus worsened tinnitus symptoms in 40% of research participants.
"Having COVID-19 symptoms exacerbated tinnitus in 40% of respondents, made no change in 54%, and improved tinnitus in 6%... Pre-existing tinnitus was significantly exacerbated for those self-isolating, experiencing loneliness, sleeping poorly, and with reduced levels of exercise. Increased depression, anxiety, irritability, and financial worries further significantly contributed to tinnitus being more bothersome during the pandemic period," the report states.