The richest person in Virginia

Luay Rahil
Photo Credit: Canva

The rich are getting richer.

The Plain is a small town in Virginia, just 45 miles west of downtown Washington DC.

The city is home to less than 200 people, none wealthier than Jacqueline Mars. The city's median household income exceeds $78,333, and the median property value is about $357,400. However, Jacqueline Mars won't know anything about that. Her income is 10000X more than that.

Her net worth exceeds $31.8 billion, making her the richest woman in Virginia. Though Mars remains unknown to many, she is an heiress to the Mars Candy fortune.

If the name sound familiar, that's because Mars is the company that produces M&Ms, Snickers, and Mars bars.

Who is Jacqueline Mars?

Jacqueline Mars is the co-owner of Mars Inc., the world's largest confectioner. Its headquarters are in Virginia, renowned for making M&Ms, Snickers, and Milky Way.

In 1961, Jacqueline Mars, the daughter of Forrest E. Mars Sr, graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a degree in anthropology and joined her family business. Her father, Forrest Mars, had two other kids, John and Forrest Jr., each owned about one-third of Mars.

Last year, the company's revenue exceeded $40 billion.

The story behind the brand

A long time ago, Frank C. Mars began selling candy.

In a small town in Minnesota, a young boy named Frank Mars contracted polio that prevented him from walking. However, his mother wanted to keep him occupied, so she taught him to hand-dip chocolate.

In 1910, Frank Mars was 27 years old and had a brilliant idea: selling buttercream candy bars from his kitchen in Tacoma, Washington. Ten years later, Frank moved to Minnesota and expanded his candy bar business.

Milky Way was a big hit.

In 1923, Frank Mars and his son Forrest Sr. created a new candy bar named Milky Way that was a great success. This success inspired them to move the company to Chicago. They wanted a centralized location with railroads, and Chicago was perfect.

A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play.

In Chicago, the Mars family focused on producing great products, so by 1940, Snickers' brand, 3 Musketeers, and M&M'S were born. The company also kept expanding with new products like Whiskas.

Today, Mars is one of the world's largest candy and pet food companies, with more than $40 billion in sales.

Jacqueline has a lot of money, but I couldn't find much information about her donations.

The National Archives honored Jacqueline Badger Mars with the National Archives' Heritage Award for her passion and commitment to preserving documents that celebrate our nation's heritage.

In 2013, Jacqueline Mars donated 1.4 million to The Washington Performing Arts Society. The gift to support education and community programs in Virginia.

If you had her money, what causes would you support?

Comments / 6

Published by

Writing on leadership, business, and culture.

Fort Worth, TX

More from Luay Rahil

Comments / 0