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Paul McIlhenny, Head Of Company That Makes Tabasco Sauce, Dies Of Apparent Heart Attack

Paul McIlhenny (screencap from YouTube)
Paul McIlhenny (screencap from YouTube)

The man that has lead his family’s business for the last 14 years died in his New Orleans home today.  Paul McIlhenny was 68 years old.  The Times Picayune is reporting that his death is of an apparent heart attack.

McIlhenny became the sixth family member to lead the business started by Edmund McIlhenny in 1868 on Avery Island near New Iberia.  During his time at the head of the company, the familiar logo for Tabasco Sauce began to be put on many items and sold to the public.  The results now are ties, aprons, T-shirts, drink coasters and others along with the name brand sauces that are sold by the company worldwide.

McIlhenny first started working with the family business in 1967, just after he graduated from University of the South in Tennessee.  He grew up in New Orleans and continued to have a home there, going back and forth between there and the company compound on Avery Island.

McIlhenny served as President of Bayou Corporation, his hunting club in Vermilion Parish and was a former president of the New Iberia Rotary Club along with many other positions of honor.

Three years ago, he was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America.

McIlhenny is survived by his wife Judith, two daughters Barbara Fitz-Hugh of New Orleans and Rosemary Dinkins of Nashville, TN, a brother, sister and four grandchildren.

A funeral will be held Wednesday at noon at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1329 Jackson Ave. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m.


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