Ben Ali, 1927 — 2009

Ben Ali, 1927 -- 2009

Ben Ali, founder of U Street landmark Ben’s Chili Bowl, passed away last week. He was 82.

Ben’s signature dish is the Chili Half-Smoke sausage, so we celebrate Mr. Ali’s memory with links:

“Ben’s Chili Bowl Founder Passes On,”

“Saying Goodbye to a D.C. Legend,”  Two DC
“Ben Ali, Founder Of Ben’s Chili Bowl, Dies At 82,”
“Founder of Ben’s Chili Bowl Passes,” DC Mumbo Sauce
“Rest in Peace, Ben,” Malnurtured Snay

“Obituaries: Ben Ali, Ran iconic D.C. diner, 82,” AP via

“He Added Spice to Our Lives,” Washington Post

“Where Obama Ate a Half-Smoke: Ben Ali, Founder of Famed Ben’s Chili Bowl in D.C., R.I.P.,” Wall Street Journal Speakeasy blog

“Ben Ali, Founder of Ben’s Chili Bowl in DC, Dies,” AP via New York Times

 “Long Live the Chili Dog,” Washington Post GOG blog

“Ben’s Chili Bowl owner dies,” Washington Business Journal

“Ben Ali, Patriarch of Ben’s Chili Bowl Dies,” Washington Afro-American

“At Ben’s, a Life Remembered,” DCist

“Ben’s Chili Bowl Founder Dies,” Washington Informer

 “Despite Founder’s Death, It Was Business As Usual at Ben’s,” Washington City Paper Young & Hungry blog

“Ben’s Chili Bowl namesake dies at age 82,” Washington Times

“Ben’s Chili Bowl founder dies,” S2 Magazine

“Another restaurant world obit: Ben Ali of Ben’s Chili Bowl,” Denver Westword

 “U Street mourns the death of Ben Ali, founder of the renowned Ben’s Chili Bowl”

“Ben Ali, King of the Half-Smoke, Is Dead at 82,” New York Times Diner’s Journal blog

“Founder Of Ben’s Chili Bowl, A D.C. Institution, Has Died,” National Public Radio, The Two-Way blog

 “Ben Ali, 1927-2009,”  DC Metblog

“”R.I.P. Ben Ali, Founder of Ben’s Chili Bowl,” Listen to Leon!

 “Ben’s Chili Bowl Founder Dies,” LBJ’s Brown Bag

“Goodbye, Ben,” DC Eat

Ben Ali (Ben’s Chili Bowl) R.I.P., Grand High

“Ben’s Chili Bowl founder dies at 82,” Washington Examiner

“Ben Ali, founder of Ben’s Chili Bowl, dies,” WTOP News Radio

“Ben’s Chili Bowl Founder Dead at 82,” NBC-4

“Ben’s Chili Bowl Founder Dead At 82,” FoxDC

 “Ben Ali of Ben’s Chili Bowl Dies,” Washington Post

“Bill Cosby recalls Ben’s Chili Bowl,” Washington Times

“Popular Trini restaurateur dies in DC,” Trinidad & Tobago’s Newsday

 “Good to the last smoky detail,”

” Ben Ali, the founder of Washington, D.C.’s Ben’s Chili Bowl has died at age 82,”

“Ben’s Chili Bowl Founder Ben Ali Dies,” Slashfood

 “Owner of D.C.’s Famous Ben’s Chili Bowl Dies at 82,” The Root

“Ben’s Chili Bowl Founder Dies: Ben Ali Dead At 82,” Huffington Post

“Muere el rey del Chili Bowl,” Maxwell Reyes

“RIP — Ben Ali of Ben’s Chili Bowl,” UberChic

“Ben Ali – Ben’s Chili Bowl – Washington D.C.,” Jonathan Haag

“Ben Ali, RIP,” SnarkInfested

“Remembering Founder Of Iconic D.C. Restaurant,” National Public Radio


Note: In lieu of flowers the Ali Family requests that you support these nonprofits:

Islamic Society of the Washington Area and Teaching for Change

Celebration of Life

 Friday, October 16th, 12 noon

 Lincoln Theatre

1215 U Street (next to Ben’s)


Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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