Chocolatier adding chewables. With family bought gum giant Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. for $23 billion in April; deal expected to close by end of the year. Merger will create world's largest confectionery company; estimated sales should exceed $27 billion. Grandfather Frank Mars began making chocolates 1911 in his kitchen in Tacoma, Wash. Father, Forrest Sr., invented M&M's, then introduced malt-flavored nougat, became foundation of famous candy-bar line that includes Milky Way, Snickers, 3 Musketeers. Third generation inherited company when dad died 1999. Meticulously researches recipes. Also owns pet food operation (Whiskas, Pedigree), Uncle Ben's Rice.
Forrest Edward Mars Jr. was born in Oak Park, Ill., on Aug. 16, 1931, to Forrest Mars Sr. and the former Audrey Ruth Meyer, a volunteer at cancer fund-raising organizations.
He earned a bachelor of science degree from Yale in 1953 and a master’s in business administration from the New York University School of Business in 1958.
After serving in the Army, Mr. Mars began his career in 1955 as an accountant for Price Waterhouse. He joined Mars, which was then barely a $100-million-a-year business, as a financial staff officer in 1959. After working for the company in Europe, in 1970, he moved to the company’s headquarters in McLean, Va.
In 1983, Mr. Mars and his siblings, John and Jacqueline, formalized what they called the Five Principles of Mars — quality, mutuality, responsibility, efficiency and freedom — based on an objective their father expressed: to create mutual benefits that make a difference for people and the planet through the company’s performance.
Mr. Mars is survived by his wife, the former Jacomien Ford; four daughters, Victoria Mars, Pamela Mars-Wright, Valerie Mars and Marijke Mars; 11 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.