CHICAGO (CBS) — Hecky Powell, longtime owner of his namesake restaurant in Evanston, has died of pneumonia and was exposed to COVID-19, his family confirmed Friday.

Powell was 71.

READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Cooler Trend Next Week After Quiet Weekend

Powell, who operated Hecky’s Barbecue restaurant at the corner of Green Bay Road and Emerson Street since 1983, was a local philanthropist and worked with disadvantaged youth to help them in their careers. The restaurant was famous for it’s slogan, “It’s the sauce.”

READ MORE: Protesters Hold 'Healing Circle' At Site Where Adam Toledo Was Shot And Killed By Police; 'Our Presence Is A Form Of Resistance'

The Evanston Work Ethic Program was started in 2016 by Powell as part of the Forrest E. Powell Foundation, which was founded in honor of Hecky Powell’s father Forrest, who died in 1993. The program offers Evanston High School students with comprehensive, pre-professional career/tech preparation through mentors, workshops, counseling, and financial assistance, according to the foundation’s website.

The Forrest Powell Foundation has offered vocational grants, work ethic awards and music scholarships.

MORE NEWS: Stimulus Check Latest: Is A Fourth Relief Payment Coming?

Powell had seven children.