Photo by Flickr user miheco/ Creative Commons

Raul Martinez Sr, the founder of the popular King Taco restaurant chain died Tuesday. He was 71.

Details on the cause of Martinez’ death have not yet been confirmed.

Martinez’s son, Raul Jr., told CBS News that his father was visiting family and doctors for ongoing health problems in Mexico City, where he passed.

In observance of Martinez’ death, all King Taco restaurants closed Wednesday. The restaurant’s Facebook page posted this message to inform its customers:

“To our beloved customers, it is with great pain and sorrow that we inform you that on December 3rd one of our founders Raul Martinez Sr. passed away. In respect to him and his family all King Taco locations will be closed in his honor. He will be truly missed. May God bless everyone and his family.”

Before opening the first King Taco restaurant in 1974 on Cypress Avenue in Lincoln Heights, Martinez was known to sell tacos out of a converted ice-cream truck in East Los Angeles.

The chain now expands to over 20 restaurants.

Readers took to social media networks to express their condolences for the man who was known to be a charitable giver in the East L.A. community.

From Twitter:

@MatthewKlekner: Los Angeles just lost a taco Legend. RIP Raul Martinez Sr., founder of King Taco. Your legacy will live forever

@baaaticus: The guy who founded king taco died 😭😭😭 he died with the best legacy a man can ask for 😩😭👌

@briannaseaweed: RIP to the man who created the best tacos/burritos. The King Taco owner died yesterday 😔

“Raul Martinez Sr. leaves much more than a legacy of great food,” said
Councilmember José Huizar in a statement. “His is a legacy of inspiration, a man who
against all odds, dared to dream and worked hard to turn his dreams
into reality. And all along, he never forgot the hopes and aspirations
of others, giving generously to charitable causes. He will be dearly
missed.”

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