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H.B. Reese
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Entrepreneur
    (May 24, 1879-May 16, 1956)
    Born in York County, Pennsylvania
    Birth name was Harry Burnett Reese
    Founded the H.B. Reese Candy Company (1923)
    Invented Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (1928)
    His sons merged the H.B. Reese Candy Company with the Hershey Company in a stock swap (1963)
    His mother and her two sisters lived with him.
    He formed the R&R Candy Company, selling chocolate-covered raisins and almonds; it went bust after two years (1919-21).
    He went to work in Hershey’s shipping department, while continuing to make candies on the side. (Apparently, they did not have non-compete clauses in employment contracts back then.)
    He was married to Blanche Hyson for 56 years until his death.
    His Peanut Butter Cups were so popular that sales of them, even at a penny each, were enough to pay off the mortgages on his factory and his home in only seven years.
    During World War II, he dropped his other products and focused solely on the peanut butter cups. (Partly because chocolate and sugar were rationed but peanut butter was not.)
    Competitor Milton Hershey kept a stash of Reese’s cups in his desk.
    Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are the best-selling candy in the US (and fourth best-seller worldwide).

Credit: C. Fishel


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