Forrest Mars Jr., co-owner of Mars, Inc., has died at 84. The company, perhaps best known for its candy products, also had a sizable share of the pet product market under its Mars Petcare wing.
Mars—who was the world’s 21st-wealthiest person and had a net worth of $31.5 billion, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index—died of a heart attack on July 26 in Seattle, Washington. Along with his younger brother and sister, Mars helped run the Mars corporation for about 30 years and was credited with expanding the company’s reach to Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic and China in the 1990s.
“Forrest was a great inspiration to all of us at Mars, Incorporated,” said Grant F. Reid, CEO and Office of the President for Mars, Inc., in a statement on the company’s website. “He was instrumental in building our business while remaining committed to the founding principles of the company. Forrest will be sorely missed, but his contributions and the legacy he leaves behind at Mars will be long-lasting.”
Forrest Mars Jr. was born August 16, 1931, in Oak Park, Illinois, to parents Forrest E. Mars Sr. and Audrey Ruth Meyer. His grandfather, Frank Mars, founded Mars, Inc., in 1911.
Mars had a home in Big Horn, Wyoming. Mars, Inc., is based in McLean, Virginia. The company’s most popular brands include Milky Way, M&Ms, Snickers, Uncle Ben’s rice, Pedigree, Whiskas and Royal Canin, among many more.