Glen William Bell Jr.
September 3, 1923
|Died||January 16, 2010 (aged 86)|
|Resting place||Rancho Santa Fe, California|
|Known for||Founder of Taco Bell restaurants|
|Children||Kathleen Bell, Gary Bell and Rex Bell|
Born in Lynwood, California, Glen Bell graduated from San Bernardino High School in 1941. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a cook during World War II. After the Marines he started his first hot dog stand 'Bell's Drive-In', in San Bernardino in 1948. In 1952, he sold the hot dog stand and built a second location selling hot dogs and hamburgers. He soon started selling tacos at a taco stand named Taco-Tia at 19 cents each from a side window. Between 1954 and 1955, he opened three Taco Tias in the San Bernardino area, eventually selling those restaurants and opening four El Tacos with a partner in the Long Beach area.
In 1962, he went solo and sold the El Tacos to his partner and opened his first Taco Bell. Bell franchised his restaurant in 1964. His company grew rapidly, and the 868-restaurant chain was later sold to PepsiCo in 1978 for $125 million in stock.
West Side and Cherry Valley Railroad
In the late 1970s, Bell opened a tourist railroad at Tuolumne, California. He was a life-long railway enthusiast. This 3 ft (914 mm) gauge railroad used the lower section of the track and several steam locomotives of the West Side Lumber Company railway. The operation offered boat rides on the old mill pond and RV parking. It closed in the early 1980s after failing traffic.
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