Todd Mills championed the idea of combining Doritos and tacos.
As far as food inventions go, few in recent years have been more profitable or more delicious than Taco Bell's Doritos Locos Taco.
"The mastermind behind the Taco Bell's Doritos Locos Tacos unfortunately has died. Todd Mills passed away on Thanksgiving he suffered from brain cancer." (Via WFLD)
According to the Arkansas Times, the story goes that while eating a taco with his wife, Mills saw a Doritos commercial on TV and that's when it clicked. He reportedly asked his wife, "How awesome would it be if this taco shell was a Dorito?"
The article goes on to say Mills pitched the idea to Frito Lay in 2009, but was turned down because the company couldn't accept outside ideas about products.
But thankfully for all the Doritos Tacos addicts, Mills pushed on, starting this Facebook page entitled, "Taco Shells Made from Doritos Movement." Mills photoshopped orange tacos into various pop culture images, and before long, caught the eye of Taco Bell.
We all know the rest of the story, Doritos Lacos Tacos becomes the biggest launch in Taco Bell history, selling more than $1 billion dollars worth of the cheesy snack.
After Newsy published this video, a public relations firm representing Taco Bell provided a statement disputing Mills as the INVENTOR of Doritos Locos, but adds: "...our hearts are with his family and friends in this difficult time."
According to USA Today, "It's unclear how much influence Mills had on Taco Bell's launch of the Locos Tacos. Although friends ... had urged Mills to seek compensation for the idea he championed, Todd did not pursue it."
Mills' battle with cancer put him through two brain surgeries and one lung surgery before he passed away in November, leaving behind a wife and two daughters. (Via You Caring)