Peeps Inventor, 98, Dies In Florida
You either love or hate Peeps. While I’m not a big fan, you can’t deny their success. But the story behind their inventor and the company he built is downright fascinating. His name was Ira “Bob” Born and he had no intention of making candy, until he did it. Born died here in Florida over the weekend. He was 98 years old.
Born was…um…born in 1924 to a Russian immigrant in New York City. His father, Sam, had just started a candy business. You’d think he would simply follow in his dad’s footsteps, but that’s not what happened. The man who invented marshmallow Peeps got a degree in engineering physics and then enlisted in the U.S. Navy to became a radar specialist and a lieutenant on a destroyer in the Pacific theater during World War 2. After the war, the Navy sent him to more advanced schooling,. He completed graduate degrees in math in physics. But wait, there’s more!
Born enrolled in medical school, but got a little bored while he was waiting for classes to start. That’s when he went to work for his dad for some extra cash. Bob decided that the candy industry was awesome, so he dropped the medical classes and embraced the confectionary industry. Bob particularly enjoyed the science of the process and the equipment used to make candy.
That’s been decades ago, and the company grew like gangbusters under Bob’s guidance. Bob even figured out a way to go from making one order of Peeps every 27 hours to 5.5 million packs per day. Now, 70 years later, the company owns several successful brands that sell huge amounts during the holidays. Bob Born became Just Born’s president back in 1959 and ran the company for 0ver 30 years.
Even after retirement, Born kept moving. After relocating to Florida, he operated a literacy program and explored new hobbies such as photography. Born remained in generally good health until a recent fall from which he never fully recovered. Born leaves a widow, two children, five grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. He was 98 years old. Source: WFLA.com
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