The Everyday Hero Behind Taco Bell's Doritos Locos Taco Passed AwayS

It was while whipping up one of his signature taco salads that Todd Mills had the greatest highdea of all time: Taco shells made from Doritos.

He excitedly pitched the concept to Frito-Lay, but was rejected with a "thanks, but no thanks," according to his wife Ginger.

Not about to throw out his brainchild with the bathwater, Mills took his "Taco Shells from Doritos Movement" to Facebook, where he found widespread support.

In the meantime, as we've since learned, Frito-Lay pitched the exact same idea to Taco Bell as their own (sound familiar?).

Mills never got credit, but in 2012 he suddenly received a phone call from Taco Bell asking him to come to California to try out their latest food experiment: The Doritos Loco Tacos.

Despite the product he inspired going on to become one of the best selling fast food items of all time, Mills never sought compensation.

"Todd being Todd, he never asked for anything," a friend told USA Today. "He said, ‘I just want my tacos.'"

Sadly, Mills passed away on Thanksgiving of brain cancer at the age of 41, leaving behind his wife and two daughters.

"We are honored to have had his support through the Doritos for Taco Shells Movement on Facebook," Taco Bell said in a statement, "and we admire his strength and optimism during his recent battle. Our thoughts and sympathies are with Todd’s family during this time."

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking supporters to post photos of themselves enjoying tacos in Todd's honor.

[photos via Facebook]