Harry Burnett “H. B.” Reese was born May 24, 1879 on a farm in York County, Pennsylvania.
He married Blanche Edna Hyson on August 1, 1900.
In 1917, Reese and his family moved to Hershey, Pennsylvania where he enjoyed a relatively prosperous job on a dairy farm owned by The Hershey Company.
Always an entrepreneur and inspired by his work, Reese began experimenting with candies in his basement.
Then in 1923, he created the H. B. Reese Candy Company.
Reese built a new home and factory for his growing business in 1926, selling a large assortment of candies.
During the mid twenties he started to make an item called peanut butter cups.
Then in 1928, H. B. Reese invented his famous Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
H.B. Reese initially sold his many candies on consignment to retail stores, but by 1935 he was a success and was able to pay off and burn all of his mortgages.
During World War II, economic constraints and scarcity of sugar led him to discontinue his other candies and concentrate solely on his peanut butter cups, his most popular offering.
Harry Burnett “H. B.” Reese died on May 16, 1956 of a heart attack in West Palm Beach, Florida, eight days before his 77th birthday.
Six years after his death in 1962 the company was sold to Hershey chocolate company for 23.5 million dollars. The Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup is Hershey’s most popular candy bar and is the second biggest seller in the U.S.
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