You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Paul C.P. McIlhenny, Tabasco sauce firm CEO

AVERY ISLAND, La. — Paul C.P. McIlhenny, chief executive and chairman of the company that makes the trademarked line of Tabasco hot pepper sauces sold the world over, has died. He was 68.

The McIlhenny Co., based on Louisiana’s Avery Island, said Mr. McIlhenny died Saturday. The statement credited his leadership with introducing several new varieties of hot sauces sold under the Tabasco brand and with greatly expanding their global reach.

Continue reading below

Mr. McIlhenny was a member of a storied clan whose 145-year-old company has been producing the original world-famous Tabasco sauce for several generations, since shortly after the Civil War. The statement said Mr. McIlhenny joined the company in 1967 and oversaw the production and quality of all products sold under the brand for 13 years.

Under his management, the company experienced years of record growth in sales and earnings.

Mr. McIlhenny also worked to develop an array of items that could be marketed and emblazoned with the Tabasco logo: T-shirts, aprons, neckties, stuffed toy bears, and computer screensavers, the Times-Picayune of New Orleans noted. The newspaper noted that Mr. McIlhenny was an executive with a keen sense of humor, quipping days before he reigned as Rex, the King of Carnival, for Mardi Gras in 2006: ‘‘We’re defending the world against bland food.’’

The Times-Picayune said he had taken up the post of company president starting in 1998 before adding the title of chief executive two years later. It added that his cousin, Tony Simmons, took over as president last year.

‘‘All of McIlhenny Co. and the McIlhenny and Avery families are deeply saddened by this news,’’ said Simmons . “We will clearly miss Paul’s devoted leadership but will more sorely feel the loss of his acumen, his charm, and his irrepressible sense of humor.’’

The statement said Mr. McIlhenny led the way on new brand merchandising, taking an instrumental role in the company’s catalog business of licensed merchandise. He also was a driving force behind the growing global reach of Tabasco products, today sold in more than 165 countries.

He was a sixth-generation member of the family to live on Avery Island and among the fourth generation to produce the Tabasco brand sauce on Avery Island, where patriarch Edmund McIlhenny had founded the company in 1868.

He grew up in New Orleans.

Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.