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Ira ‘Bob’ Born, Considered the ‘Father of Peeps’ Confections, Passes Away

Feb. 2, 2023
Ira “Bob” Born, son of Just Born Quality Confections founder Sam Born, passed away Jan. 29, 2023, at the age of 98.

Ira “Bob” Born, son of Just Born Quality Confections founder Sam Born, passed away Jan. 29, 2023, at the age of 98. Bob joined Just Born in 1945 after serving in World War II and became best-known for designing the machine that deposits Peeps Marshmallow Chicks, which had been made by hand prior to his invention. The ability to mass-produce Peeps allowed Just Born to meet growing demand for the product over the years.

Bob also invented Hot Tamales candy, by modifying Mike and Ike candies. In 2019, the city of Bethlehem, Pa., where Just Born is headquartered, officially named Easter “Bob Born Day,” in honor of the company’s successful line of confections catered to that holiday. Just Born Quality Confections was founded in 1923 in Brooklyn, N.Y.

“Bob will be remembered as a tireless and passionate advocate for the candy industry and a wonderful supporter of our community,” said David Shaffer, board chair and co-CEO of Just Born, in a statement from the company. “Bob was our second-generation family member whose dedication was instrumental in Just Born reaching our 100-year milestone.”

About the Author

Andy Hanacek | Senior Editor

Andy Hanacek has covered meat, poultry, bakery and snack foods as a B2B editor for nearly 20 years, and has toured hundreds of processing plants and food companies, sharing stories of innovation and technological advancement throughout the food supply chain. In 2018, he won a Folio:Eddie Award for his unique "From the Editor's Desk" video blogs, and he has brought home additional awards from Folio and ASBPE over the years. In addition, Hanacek led the Meat Industry Hall of Fame for several years and was vice president of communications for We R Food Safety, a food safety software and consulting company.

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