Archibald “Arch” West (September 8, 1914 – September 20, 2011)
West was born in Indianapolis, Indiana to Scottish immigrants. He and his brother were raised in a Masonic home. West received a bachelor’s degree from Franklin College in 1936. He served in the Navy during World War II.
He began his career at Standard Brands as a traveling sales rep. He then switched to advertising, where he worked on a Jell-O campaign.
In 1960, he joined the Frito company (now called Frito-Lay). While here, West was credited with inventing and developing a brand of seasoned tortilla chips that bring in about $5 billion annually: Doritos. (Doritos are the second-best selling chip for Frito-Lay.)
Initially his colleagues were not convinced, but West conducted some test market research and they began production in 1964. West retired from Frito-Lay as their Vice President of Marketing in 1971.
In 1990, while volunteering for disaster relief in Amarillo, Texas, he was injured when his car was hit by a tanker truck. He made a full recovery.
At the age of 97, in September 2011, West died from peritonitis and complications from vascular surgery in Dallas, Texas. He was survived by his four children, twelve grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. His wife — to whom he had been married for 69 years — had died the previous year, in 2010.
Check out some funny Doritos commercials: