Arnold "Arnie" Morton,
83, who founded the chain of steakhouses that bear his name and helped launch the first Playboy Club and the annual Taste of Chicago food festival, died Saturday at a nursing home in suburban Deerfield, Ill. He had suffered from Alzheimer's disease and cancer, his family said.
Mr. Morton's first restaurant, the Walton Walk, opened in the 1950s and paved the way for his partnership with Hugh Hefner, Victor Lownes and the Playboy Club they opened in 1960.
He left Playboy in the early 1970s and ran several nightspots, then opened his first Morton's steakhouse in Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood in 1978.
The steakhouse initially...
Opening day of the Taste of Chicago food festival in Chicago on Friday, June 25, 2010.