Alexandria, VA

The Second Richest Person in Virginia

Luay Rahil
Photo byCanva

The Mars family became one of the richest families in the world, selling cheap chocolate.

The company was founded in 1911 by a brilliant entrepreneur named Frank Mars, and some of his grandchildren are still involved in running the company.

One of his great-grandchildren is Pamela Mars. Pamela's net worth exceeds $9.3 billion, making her the second-richest person in Virginia and the 69 richest person in the country.

She is married to Lonnie Wright, has three children, and lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

Who is Pamela Mars?

Pamela Mars is an American billionaire heiress and business executive.

She was born in 1960. Pamela is one of four daughters of Forrest Mars Jr., who inherited 33% of Mars Inc. from his father.

Pamela graduated from Vassar College in 1982, and soon after her graduation, she worked in advertising. Then, in 1986, she joined the family business as an operation supervisor. Since then, she has occupied multiple roles inside the company, including plant manager, manufacturing director, and chairman of the board of the entire company.

In 2016, she joined Heineken as a member of the Supervisory Board. Today, she serves as the ambassador of her family to the Mars pet-care division.

How did Mars start?

In 1910, Pamela's great-grandfather Frank Mars founded Mars. In a small town in Minnesota, a young boy named Frank Mars had polio that prevented him from walking. However, his mother wanted to keep young Frank occupied, so she taught him to hand-dip chocolate.

When Frank was 27 years old, he wanted to start a business from his house. He wanted to sell buttercream candy bars from his kitchen in Tacoma, Washington. This simple idea became a great business hit.

Ten years later, Frank moved to Minnesota and expanded his candy bar business.

Milky Way was their first 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 encouraged the family to move the company to Chicago. The city had many benefits, a centralized location, great railroads, and more customers.

Forrest Mars Snr. took over the family business after his father's death. Forrest Mars Sr. had three children, Forrest Jr., John, and Jacqueline.

Forrest Mars Jr. died in 2016 and had four children, Victoria, Valerie, Pamela, and Marijke. According to Forbes, each sister inherited about an 8% stake in Mars.

The family continued to grow their products.

In Chicago, the Mars family focused on producing great products. By 1940, they created three products that became a tremendous success: Snickers brand, 3 Musketeers, and M&M'S were born.

Mars Inc. also kept expanding with new products and new markets. In 2021, Mars Inc's revenue exceeded $40B, and it had 130,000 employees in over 80 countries.

If you had family wealth, what causes would you support?

Comments / 0

Published by

Writing on leadership, business, and culture.

Fort Worth, TX

More from Luay Rahil

Comments / 0