Doritos inventor cashes in his chips at age 97

Retired Frito-Lay executive Arch Clark West has died at age 97. The marketing man (shown at left in a family photo) is credited with having invented Doritos, the best-selling American snack chip.

"His family plans to sprinkle Doritos at his graveside service," the Dallas Morning News reported.

There's a Masonic connection, according to this WSJ obit:

Introduced nationally in 1966, Doritos—"little bits of gold" is how Frito-Lay translates the name—were a hit in plain and what the company called "taco" flavors. The Nacho cheese flavor, which Frito-Lay said was a blend of cheddar and Romano, debuted in 1972 under Mr. West's guidance.

The chips were aimed at the youth market, marketed as "the with-it chip." Doritos became Frito-Lay's second-biggest seller, behind Lay's potato chips.

Mr. West was a native of Franklin, Ind. He grew up in a Masonic home for boys after his father, a Mason, died. Mr. West won a scholarship to Franklin College and became a cheese salesman.

IMAGE at the top of this post: "Dark Side of the Doritos," an assemblage created by BB reader Brock Davis and shared in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool. Here's more about how it was made.

(Headline stolen from @evanatwired)