The late Forrest Mars Sr. was the only son of candy mogul, Frank C. Mars. Forrest was born in Minnesota, raised in Canada, and attended school in California. After high school, he went to the University of California at Berkeley and later transferred to Yale University where he earned a degree in Industrial Engineering.
Forrest was raised primarily by his mother in Canada, but was reunited with his father during adulthood when he began to work for him. He went to work with his father at Mars, Inc. right after he finished college, but serious disagreements regarding international expansion led to an estrangement between the two. Forrest took the foreign rights of Mars candies overseas to Europe, where he created the Mars bar and also made adjustments to several of his father’s original recipes. After returning to the states, he started his own gourmet food business, Food Products Manufacturing, which overlooked brands such as Uncle Ben’s Rice and Pedigree. Forrest is the brain behind the development of M&M’s.
Following the death of his father in 1964, Forrest Mars Jr. merged Food Products Manufacturing with Mars Inc. He retired in 1973 and handed over control of the company equally amongst his three children. He passed away in 1999 at the age of 95.