30 July 2016

BUSINESS - Forrest Mars Jr., Co-owner of Mars Inc. Dies at 84

Forrest Mars Jr., co-owner of Mars Inc., who ran the corporation along with his younger brother and sister has died at 84.

While Mars Inc. is largely known for its candy and drinks, its pet food line has consistently been at the top of the sales market.

Mars Jr. is being remembered as a visionary who was at the helm of the company for more than 30 years and is 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,” Grant F. Reid, CEO and Office of the President for Mars, Inc., said in a release. “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 Jr. is also noted for his philanthropy. He supported environmental preservation projects such as the American Prairie Reserve, and numerous projects in support of American history, including the Brinton Museum of Western and American Indian Art in Big Horn, Wyoming, and the Mars Hall of American Business at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Mars Inc. was on the list of World's Best Multinational Workplaces in its inaugural year, has provided assistance to pets during disasters, partnered with WikiVet to improve the quality and research of reference materials freely available online to veterinary students, practicing veterinarians and vet nurses, and was an InfoStream newsmaker of 2014 when they acquired most of P&G’s pet food business.

Brands owned by Mars Inc. include Royal Canin, IAMS, Pedigree, Whiska, Eukanuba and more.

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