Milton Hershey was an American businessman and founder of the Hershey Chocolate Company, the world's first mass producer of chocolate bars. He was the candy maker who introduced Hershey's Kisses, Mr. Goodbar, the Krackel Bar, Hershey's Miniatures and Hershey's Chocolate Bar. Hershey was also a multimillionaire philanthropist, who, with his wife Catherine "Kitty" Hershey, established a home and school for orphans. Milton Hershey put his entire $60 million fortune in a trust for the school following Kitty's death.
He had been a candy maker for more than twenty years when he established the Hershey Chocolate Company in 1894. Like most of his contemporaries he initially offered a wide variety of confections, but soon began concentrating all his efforts on chocolate. His factory began by manufacturing baking chocolate, breakfast cocoa, and sweet chocolate coatings for caramels.
As his company prospered, he planned and supervised the building of the entire utopian community of Hershey, Pennsylvania, complete with houses, churches, hotel, post office, shops, city park, schools, and even a trolley car to transport workers to his factory. His community grew and prospered along with the company, and later became a major tourist attraction with its chocolate-related street names, large Hershey's Kiss street lights, and amusement park. The Hershey plant would eventually become the largest chocolate factory in the world.
Biographical fast facts
Full or original name at birth: Milton Snavely Hershey
Date and place of birth: September 13, 1857, Derry Church, Dauphin County (now Hershey) Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Date, place and cause of death: October 13, 1945, Hershey, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. (Heart attack)
Spouse: Catherine "Kitty" Hershey (m. May 25, 1898 - March 25, 1915) (her death)
Wedding took place in the rectory of St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York City, New York.
Father: Henry Hershey
Mother: Veronica "Fanny" Snavely
Burial site: Hershey Cemetery, Hershey, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.