It sounds corney, but Milton Hershey really did rise from poverty to greatness through determination and hard work. He proved that innovation alone could make one’s enterprise lucrative. He revolutionized chocolate making and built his empire without resorting to cut-throat tactics against the competition.  He entrusted his entire personal fortune to the orphans he cared for in life and ensured that many, many more would be protected after he was gone (creating, incidentally, one of the most, if not the most, well endowed schools in the world.)  He also protected his workers’ interests, building for them a model town that, to this day, is one of the garden spots of the U.S. industrial belt.

Milton Hersey’s corporation is one of the great employers in the world, as well as one of one of the world’s leading corporate citizens.  For example, during World War II, most of the milk chocolate plant’s production was reserved for the making of Hershey’s government contract chocolate.  Hersey had developed a formula for a kind of milk chocolate that wouldn’t melt in extreme heat, something the government desperately wanted in order to supply our soldiers.  Hershey won the government bid without competition (no other chocolate company could produce as much and not be ruined financially, and no other chocolate company could produce the kind of chocolate the government wanted) and turned over the order under budget at a loss to the corporation in order to get the job done.

Eternal Memory!