Doritos inventor to be buried with the snack that made him famous
September 26th, 2011
04:45 PM ET
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Arch West, the Frito-Lay marketing executive credited with inventing Doritos, passed away of natural causes last week at the age of 97, and his family plans to honor his legacy in a lovingly cheesy way. The Dallas Morning News reports that at his graveside, service in Dallas, Texas on October 1, the family will be "tossing Doritos chips in before they put the dirt over the urn," according to his daughter Jane Hacker. "He'll love it," she continued.

The iconic triangular snack hit the marketplace in 1964, three years after West happened upon a similar fried tortilla chip being sold at a snack shack while he was on vacation in San Diego. Although he was a vice president at what was then called Frito Co., he still had a rough time selling the concept to the management team back in Dallas. His idea eventually won out, and Doritos - similar in sound to the term "doradito," or "little golden" in Spanish - became the first nationally marketed tortilla chip in the United States.

In 2003, the Frito Lay Company (as it was called after Frito Co. merged with H.W. Lay & Company in 1961) was unsuccessfully sued by a man named Charles Grady, who claimed that the shape and crispness of the chip caused cuts in his throat. The claims did little to sully America's love affair with the brightly-dusted snack food, which now comes in such flavors as Fiery Fusion Sizzlin' Cayenne & Cheese and 3rd Degree Burn Scorchin' Habanero as well as the original Taco and popular Cool Ranch.

West is survived by a daughter, three sons, 12 grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and a nation of orange-fingered admirers.

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Filed under: News • Weird News

soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. Michael

    I don't eat chips very often, but when I do...I make sure it's Doritos.

    I miss Doritos 3D, those were the best IMHO.

    October 3, 2011 at 12:05 am |
  2. Mickey Hockett

    Fritos for lunch got me through College, and then Doritos came along...........Thank you, Sir, for inventing them. They are great. My sympathy to the West family..

    September 28, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  3. taco

    I know how we can make a pile of gold. Let's take a quarter package of corn tortillas, cut them in to fifths, fry them, and sprinkle lots of salt, preservatives and a little spice on them, we can then bag and store them in a hot warehouse for a couple of months before we sell them. We can call them little bags of gold. Oh oh, lets us a Spanish name for little bits of gold and call them doritos.

    September 28, 2011 at 4:46 am |
  4. Fat American's Doctor

    Too many Americans are dying from eating garbage like this, because they're not dipping it in Queso first. Come on America – dip that chip! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to get the little ones more beer and cigarettes.

    September 27, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  5. Aaron

    A great place for food and drink specials is They have over a million bar and restaurant deals, coupons, discounted specials and venue features. The site even features handy reviews and content from open table so you can find specials, book a reservation and get directions all in the same place. Check it out!

    September 27, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  6. Thia

    Cool Ranch and the Taco-flavoured doritos are gifts from the Gods. I never knew your name, but RIP, dude. You were a genius.

    September 27, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  7. John Coxtosen

    They should cremate him and mix him up into some Frito Lay salsa and serve him up at the service. i'd have seconds!

    September 27, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  8. CelticHunter7

    The only way I can eat a balogna (boloney) sandwich is with a layer of Fritos (for the salt) and a layer of Doritos (spice). Doritos even taste good on a peanut butter sammaich when you don't want the nuts in the jar. Besides, my girlfriend's name is Dory and I call her Dory the Dorito. MMMMMMM....tasty good treat.

    September 26, 2011 at 7:29 pm |

      My sisters name is Dora & we called them Dorrie Toes ;-D

      September 27, 2011 at 5:36 am |
    • Dr. Phil@Celtic

      Has anyone ever told you that you need professional help?

      September 27, 2011 at 11:04 am |
      • CelticHurter7


        Uh, why do you ask?

        September 27, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • Thia



      Uh, why do you ask?"

      hahahaha. You are awesome!

      September 27, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  9. Glad2Baboveground

    Won't a grave filled with Doritos attract rats?? So much for staying handsome..........

    September 26, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • Among the Quick

      All goes well for 'bout a week,
      And then your coffin begins to leak.
      the worms crawl in, the worms crawl out,
      The worms play pinochle on your snout.

      September 26, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
  10. Michael

    I know this is going to cause a stir, but I've had all kind of doritos, all flavors, in diferent parts of the planet, and I have to say the nacho flavor made in Mexico is by far the best one I've ever had. For those of you who dare cross the border... or go on a typical spring break trip to Mexico, give them a try...

    September 26, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
    • Doritos Fan

      The Obama flavor is dry and tasteless.

      September 26, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
      • rick

        Obama....Obama..get off your racist horse and stop blaming Obama for everything...., hes only cleaning up the mess bush made.....stick that dorito up your nose you c u next tuesday.

        September 28, 2011 at 12:00 am |
  11. Common Sense

    You know what goes great with Doritos? Pizza.

    September 26, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • Commoner Sense


      September 26, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
  12. NymRod

    Doritos suck. but RIP mr Dorito Maker. Im sure you were a mega rich dude.

    September 26, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • Pointless1

      Not the way it works but the company is doing great..

      September 26, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  13. brokenteeth

    Bless you sir. Probably one of the unsung heros that makes America great .

    September 26, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  14. Common Sense

    1964. That year is special. So many important things happened that year including apparently the creation of the best snack in the world, Doritos. Often imitated, but never duplicated.

    September 26, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • You got that right.

      Doritos: Noble chieftan o' the chips race.

      September 26, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  15. Chuck

    "passed away of natural causes last week at the age of 97,"

    Apparently, "junk food" isn't do bad for you.

    September 26, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • Commoner Sense

      Especially the recently ressurrected TACO flavored ones! Cool.

      September 26, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
  16. Kinda Genesis 3:19

    In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat chips, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for chips thou art, and unto chips shalt thou return.

    September 26, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • AleeD

      LOL! That kind of sermon would make it a joy to go to church. Thanks for the morning chuckle.

      September 27, 2011 at 7:14 am |
  17. larry

    When I first read this, I thought it said he died of "natural cheeses".

    September 26, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • Krafty

      He did. The processed stuff isn't as bad as people think.

      September 27, 2011 at 7:17 am |
  18. agathokles

    Burying him with Doritos is especially appropriate because they're completely nonbiodegradable.

    September 26, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • Oh, lordy, yes !!!

      The bag I'm eating has an expiration date of Feb., 2038.

      September 26, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
      • Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius

        You're not supposed to eat the bag.

        October 3, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
  19. mike

    Boo hoo hoo hoo hah huh huh hoo hoo hah meth mouth

    September 26, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  20. J

    Anyone remember when Jay Leno was the spokesman for Doritos?

    September 26, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • Foritos Fan

      You betcha. Never did understand why or how he went from Doritos to the tonight show. Bet they work this into monologue. . .

      September 26, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
  21. Ah, CNN changed the wording of the assertion to...

    "...who claimed that the shape and crispness of the chip caused cuts in his throat."

    rather than

    "...caused him to cut his throat."

    Hey, thanks for clearing that up!

    This is a fun topic, and no one yet has blamed it on Obama or Jesus.


    September 26, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • Dina

      True Thank God....... !!

      September 26, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • chad

      aren't they the same person?

      September 26, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • I don't believe so...

      Obama drinks Sam Adams Boulevard Wheat.

      Jesus; John the Baptist Stout.

      September 26, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  22. Truth: a jug of wine...

    ...a bag of weed, and thou!

    September 26, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  23. jj

    Thanks for inventing Doritos, I love them.

    September 26, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  24. Burbank

    Hate those nasty things! I have cut my throat on them too. Won't eat them unless it's a party situation where I'm extra hungry and it 's the only choice available for starch to slow down the alchohol absorbion rate in my stomach so I don't get drunk.

    I have nothing against Mr. West, may he rest in peace, just don't get it as to why they are so popular. I would much rather have plain chips.

    September 26, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • Andrew

      then you are not chewing...i mean really...

      September 26, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • j

      Maybe you are just too stupid to chew...I've seen this in Republicans

      September 26, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
      • Krafty@j

        LMAO! BTW, I loved you in Man in Black.

        September 27, 2011 at 7:20 am |
    • Lori

      Chew don't woof....

      September 26, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
  25. Why would you...

    ... cut your own throat simply because something is triangular and crisp? I just don't get this.

    September 26, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • Why would you...

      A premptive thank you to the dour literalists who believe I don't really understand the syntax of the comment.

      September 26, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • crazycatman

      I think he meant that the sharp chip cut the INSIDE of his throat when he swallowed it. Just another moron like the one who sued McDonald's because she spilled coffee in her lap and (surprise, surprise) it was hot.

      September 26, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
    • Why would you...

      Goddam, it never fails!

      September 26, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • Burbank

      I have cut my throat on them too, but it's nothing to sue over unless you spent several days in the hospital because of it which is not likely. The sharp edges can cut if they don't go down quite right.

      September 26, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
    • One word, Burbank...


      September 26, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • SB

      I think the chips should be made sharper and sturdier. That way, animals who try to swallow them whole without chewing would simply die rather than waste our time by posting here and explaining to us that they're too stupid to chew their food.

      September 26, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
      • haha!

        LOL!!! Thank you for that laugh!! Just when I had enough of the "I cut my throat" comments, your comment came up. Great timing!!

        September 27, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
  26. Wakka Wakka

    What do you call cheese that is not yours?

    Nacho cheese!

    Thanks folks, I'll be here all week. Try the veal!

    September 26, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • Heynow

      ROFL @ try the veal. I will!

      September 26, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  27. 19random35

    I used to love Doritos until I realized the secret ingredient is MSG, a white crystalline substance that looks like salt or sugar but really just triggers a strong urge to keep eating. That's why these are so addictive. Look for monosodium glutamate on ingredient lists and you will find it in tons of popular food and snack products, from hot dogs to beef jerky, to Cheetos and Planters Roasted Salted Peanuts.

    Once you realize what it is you will recognize it in food, and realize it's a cheap substitution for real flavor. I swear, if something has MSG in it, I have a very hard time not eating way too much. A lot of Chinese restaurants put it in everything. It's lame. I've heard chefs say, at best it's totally unneccessary, at worst it's a disguise for cheap and low-quality food.

    September 26, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • Hmmmm...

      Maybe they should just make a paste out of pure MSG and compress it into chips with a little coloring.

      I'd at least extend the courtesy to try a bag!


      September 26, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
  28. Steve

    The forgot the best flavor of all time–Nacho Cheese. I've eaten more of those than any other chip over the past 40 years. I noticed a couple of years ago that the plain ones disappeared.

    September 26, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • Don

      Here in AZ they have a Doritos like chip that is plain. They're called Santitas. $2 a bag.
      Made by.................Frito Lay

      September 26, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  29. CrackHead

    Thank you sir for a chip that I love to eat.

    September 26, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  30. Steve

    So some fool forgets to chew his food and sues the chip maker. Ain't that America?! Glad he lost. Too bad he didn't have to pay the defendant's legal fees too. That would fix our broken tort system really fast.

    September 26, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • MaggieJS

      Instead we could go to a tort-illa system! OK, bad joke.
      I love Doritos, so thanks, Mr. West.

      September 26, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
      • Heather

        lol!! love it!

        September 26, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  31. Frito Bandito & Chester Cheetah

    RIP Oh Great One.

    September 26, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  32. BunchaDamMorons

    "He'll love it!" ... No, he won't. He's dead. Idiot.

    September 26, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Darn atheists...

      ...spoilin' all our fun!

      September 26, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  33. tj

    I want the chips, he won't need them

    September 26, 2011 at 5:47 pm |

    I love Doritos

    September 26, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  35. hawaiiduude

    when the the chips are down...

    September 26, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  36. ObamaSucks

    They mean original NACHO, not taco flavor.

    September 26, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      Nope! Taco was indeed the first Doritos flavor.

      September 26, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
      • moonshdw

        I loved the original taco doritos, and missed them while they were gone! The black pepper ones that came out for limited time were awesome as well!

        September 26, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
      • Krafty

        IMHO, the first was best by far.

        September 27, 2011 at 7:24 am |
    • Nacho Cheese!...

      ...get it? Because, I said, "...not your cheese."



      September 26, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  37. Dorito Bandito

    I hope I can someday be this lucky, to be literally buried in delicious snacks.

    September 26, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  38. Truth

    Throw in a pound bag of weed and the tribute will be complete!

    September 26, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • That is the truth

      #1 stoner munchie food in history, nacho cheese doritos, mmmmmm, nothing else like them.

      September 26, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  39. AdmrlAckbar

    This is how the zombie apocalypse starts!

    September 26, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • Jennifer

      Do you think the cheese will attract live worms?

      September 26, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
      • Fat American

        Are worms dumb enough to eat Doritos?

        Typed while I finish off a bag of Doritos. I really need to mix in some fruit.

        September 26, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
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