Forrest E. Mars, Jr. passes away, leaving behind memorable and inspirational legacy
With profound sorrow, we share that Forrest E. Mars, Jr., passed away on July 26, 2016, at the age of 84. A unique visionary, he contributed to building the Mars business, while remaining true to establishing and instilling the principles that guide our company. Forrest has left behind a legacy, and he will be missed by family, friends, Associates and everyone whose life he touched.
Forrest and his siblings, John and Jacquie, embodied the principles that we all hold dear at Mars. The Five Principles—Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom—continue to guide Mars and unite Associates across generations, geographies, languages and cultures. While this is a time of great sadness and mourning, it is also an opportunity to celebrate Forrest’s life and legacy by reaffirming our commitment to these guiding principles.
“Forrest was a great inspiration to all of us at Mars, Incorporated,” said Grant F. Reid, CEO and Office of the President for Mars, Incorporated. “He was instrumental in building our business, while remaining committed to the founding principles of the Company. Forrest will be sorely missed, but his contributions and the legacy he leaves behind at Mars will be long-lasting.”
Forrest E. Mars, Jr. was:
- A businessman, who together with his brother John and sister Jacqueline, inherited a significant business and grew it into one of the world’s largest and most respected family firms, increasing sales from $1 billion to $35 billion, and providing 80,000 jobs worldwide for Associates in 78 countries.
- A passionate believer in the benefits of a global economy for everyone, devoting much of his working life to building Mars internationally, expanding its presence first in Europe, Australia, Japan, and then in countries including Russia, China, Mexico and Brazil and the Middle East.
- A visionary, who, together with his brother and sister, codified a strong set of business values about creating a mutuality of benefits for all stakeholders of Mars, Incorporated—which they inherited from their father—into Five Principles that guide the business worldwide, a constitution for the company that has made it a positive force in the world.
- A leading philanthropist, locally and internationally, supporting environmental preservation projects such as the American Prairie Reserve, and numerous projects in support of American history, including the Brinton Museum of Western and American Indian Art in Big Horn, Wyoming, and the Mars Hall of American Business at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
- An explorer, who loved adventuring in his expedition ship in some of the wildest places around the globe, including navigating the Northwest Passage, while also sponsoring and often joining an annual trip for students from Hotchkiss, his old school, to Antarctica.
- An intensely private family man, who leaves a wife, four children, 11 grandchildren, two great grandchildren, numerous other extended family members, and a legacy as a person who insisted repeatedly that everyone’s work should be fun and meaningful.
For more information on the legacy of Forrest E. Mars, Jr., please see Our History and The Five Principles.