Forrest Mars Jr.

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Forrest Mars Jr.
Forrest Edward Mars Jr.

(1931-08-16)August 16, 1931
DiedJuly 26, 2016(2016-07-26) (aged 84)
ResidenceMcLean, Virginia[1]
Big Horn, Wyoming[2]
CitizenshipUnited States[1]
EducationHotchkiss School (1949)
New York University (MBA)[2]
Known forMars, Inc.
Net worthIncrease US$23.6 billion (December 2015)[2]
Spouse(s)Virginia Cretella (div. 1990)
Deborah Adair Clarke.[3] (div. in early 2010).
Children4 children:[4] Victoria B. Mars[5]
Valerie Anne Mars[6]
Pamela Diane Mars[7]
Marijke Elizabeth Mars[8]
Parent(s)Forrest Mars, Sr. (1904–1999)
Audrey Ruth (Meyer) Mars (1910-1989)
RelativesFrank C. Mars (grandfather)
John F. Mars (brother)
Jacqueline Mars (sister)

Forrest Edward Mars Jr. (August 16, 1931 – July 26, 2016) was an American heir. He was the eldest son of Audrey Ruth (Meyer) and Forrest Mars Sr., and the grandson of Frank C. Mars, the founder of Mars, Incorporated, the confectionery company. In March 2015, Forbes estimated his wealth to be $26.8 billion[2] up from US $11 billion in March 2010.[1] In October 2012, the Bloomberg Billionaires List ranked Mars as the 31st richest man in the world with an estimated net worth of 20.1 billion.[9]

Early life

Mars graduated from the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut, in 1949[10] and Yale University.

Military service

He served as a finance officer in the United States Army.[11]

Public activities

As owner of the Diamond Cross Ranch, an 82,000-acre (33,000 ha) parcel along Montana’s Tongue River and on the northern end of the Powder River Basin, Mars was active in opposing the development of his part of what's been called the "most productive coal and natural gas fields in the nation."[12] Companies that hold the oil and gas leases to his land, rights originally made possible by the Stock-Raising Homestead Act and the Mineral Leasing Act, are seeking to exercise those rights on his ranch. Mars was reportedly concerned about the large amount of water that energy exploration and production projects consume, water needed by his ranch.[12]

Mars and his ex-wife donated the funds that made it possible for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation to reconstruct an 18th-century coffeehouse in Colonial Williamsburg.[13]

The ex-couple made significant contributions to the privately owned governing body for Fort Ticonderoga, though a falling-out between Executive Director Nicholas Westbrook and Mrs. Mars led to her resignation from the board and the end of the then-couple's financial support.[14]


According to Forbes magazine as of 2010, he was the 52nd richest person in the world,[1] the 26th richest American,[2] and the richest Virginian.


Mars married Virginia Cretella, born 1929/1930 (age 88–89).[15] They had four children: Victoria B. Mars,[5] Valerie Anne Mars,[6] Pamela Diane Mars,[7] and Marijke Elizabeth Mars.[8] Each daughter was worth of $5.9 billion (as of 2018-03-06).[16]

He divorced Virginia in 1990 to marry Deborah Adair Clarke.[3] They divorced in 2010.[4]


Mars died at age 84 on July 26, 2016, in Seattle, Washington, of complications from a heart attack.[17][18]


  1. ^ a b c d "The World's Billionaires (2010): #52 Forrest Mars Jr". Forbes. March 3, 2010. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Forbes 400 Richest Americans (2010): #26 Forrest Mars". Forbes. September 16, 2010. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Pottker, Jan (April 29, 2008). "Sweet Secrets: Opening Doors on the Very Private Lives of the Billionaire Mars Family". Washingtonian. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
  4. ^ a b "World Billionaires: Forrest Mars". Forbes. March 9, 2011. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  5. ^ a b Gleick, Elizabeth (February 21, 1994). "Crisis in Candy Land". People. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
  6. ^ a b "Valerie A. Mars To Wed Teacher". New York Times. April 22, 1984. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
  7. ^ a b "Weddings - Pamela Mars, Lonnie Wright". New York Times. January 3, 1993. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
  8. ^ a b "Marijke E. Mars Weds S. J. Doyle". New York Times. June 30, 1991. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
  9. ^ "Bloomberg Billionares Index". Bloomberg LP. Archived from the original on December 14, 2012. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
  10. ^ "Alumni Award: Previous Recipients". The Hotchkiss School. 2004. Archived from the original on March 10, 2015. Retrieved March 8, 2015.
  11. ^ "Forrest Mars Jr., Mars Inc.'s billionaire co-owner, dies at 84". Crain's Chicago Business.
  12. ^ a b "Candy Billionaire Fights Energy Industry Push". Chief Engineers Association of Chicagoland. 2008. Retrieved 2009-11-05.
  13. ^ "R. Charlton's Coffeehouse". Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Retrieved 2009-11-06. A generous gift from Forrest and Deborah Mars made the Coffeehouse project possible. The Mars family have been prominent supporters of the Foundation for nearly 25 years.
  14. ^ "Fort Ti sees gloomy financial picture". Press-Republican. July 27, 2008. Retrieved 2009-11-06. Mr. Mars said he and his wife paid for most of the Mars Education Center. 'As far as the new center, I would think that besides not communicating with your president (Mrs. Mars) regarding the opening of it, the exhibits to be in it, the budget for operating it and a program for the future use, you might have been nice enough and polite enough to communicate with the major donor (Mr. Mars). Not a word from you to either of us. We do not even know if you can fund it.'
  15. ^ "AAVC Service to Vassar Award: Virginia Cretella Mars". Alumnae and Alumni of Vassar College. Fall 2005. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
  16. ^ "The World's Billionaires 2018, Women". Forbes, Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  17. ^ Henry, David (July 27, 2016). "Forrest Mars Jr., Mars's Billionaire Co-Owner, Dies at 84". Retrieved 2016-07-27.
  18. ^ Roberts, Sam (July 27, 2016). "Forrest E. Mars Jr., Scion of a Candy Empire, Dies at 84". New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-07-27.