Ira "Bob" Born, the man who built a business on the backs of the marshmallow monstrosities known as Peeps, had died. He was 98. Peeps manufacturer Just Born Quality Confections is a family business that was founded by Born's father and eventually taken over by his son Ross. Along with Peeps, the company makes Hot Tamales, Mike and Ike, and Goldenberg's Peanut Chews. Bob Born—who held a degree in engineering physics—"devoted his life to Just Born and the science and process of candy making," the company wrote in a statement. "He was an inventor whose amazing intellect allowed him to see solutions to almost any situation." From CNN:
Peeps have been around since the early 1950s when Just Born bought a smaller candy company that had been making the marshmallow candy by hand. Born used his engineering skills to "mechanize the marshmallow-forming process," reducing the time it took to make a Peeps package from 27 hours to just 6 minutes," according to the company's website. That helped him earn the nickname "Father of Peeps."
Originally created for Easter, Peeps makes themed candy for other holidays, too, including Valentine's Day and Halloween. However, Easter accounts for about 75% of Peeps sales each year[…]
"The candy business was kind of catchy … it was interesting to him," Ross Born told the newspaper. "He enjoyed the science, the technology, the processing, he was very much into the equipment."