The Devastating Death Of Bob Born, The Father Of Peeps

While the candy realm offers a myriad of different sweet treats, only a handful reach iconic status. And behind every one of these immediately recognizable sugary treats is the mind who invented them. Bob Born of Just Born Quality Confections was one such man, which is why he'll forever be remembered as the "Father of Peeps." 

The son of Just Born's founder Sam Born, Bob Born abandoned his plans to attend medical school when he took a temporary position at his father's business. Bob's son Ross Born told NPR that his dad took an immediate interest in the candy business, particularly the science and technology behind the manufacturing process. When Just Born took over Rodda Candy Company in 1953, they not only inherited Rodda's jelly bean business, they also acquired their hand-made marshmallow "side business." With the marshmallow confections taking 26 hours to create, Bob decided to find a way to speed up the process. He and an engineer developed and constructed a machine that trimmed the manufacturing time down to just six minutes, enabling Peeps to leap onto store shelves everywhere. "You couldn't buy a machine like that. So he built it," his son Ross told LeHigh Valley News.

When Born retired, he shifted his focus to altruistic endeavors, serving as the chairman of a Florida literacy organization. Unfortunately, he suffered a serious fall that he never fully recovered from. On January 29, Bob Born passed away at the age of 98. 

Born's legacy continues to live on and evolve

Bob Born may no longer be with us, but his impact remains evident on store shelves and in pop culture. According to Deadline, a Peeps movie is in the works and will be produced by Christine and Mark Holder of "The Mauritanian" fame. Apparently, it will feature a group of Peeps embarking on a trek across America to go to Peepsfest in Just Born's home state of Pennsylvania. Yes, Bob Born's marshmallowy characters will finally have Hollywood's shining lights focused solely on them. As Just Born's Director of Marketing & Consumer Engagement, Keith Domalewski, explains, Borns' marshmallow chickens and bunnies have "instantly recognizable shapes...making them the perfect characters to bring to life on the big screen." And that's not all. 

After 2021's release of the limited-time Peeps-flavored Pepsi, these marshmallow critters are teaming up with another soda just in time for this Easter. Yes, Peeps just announced Dr. Pepper Flavored Chicks and according to Fansided, there will also be a Peeps Kettle Corn flavor available only at Kroger. And 70 years after their creation, roughly 2 billion Peeps are sold each year, a figure that NPR says is enough "to circle the globe two-and-a-half times." Yes, no one will forget Bob Born or his beloved marshmallow confections any time soon. RIP, you brilliant man.