H. B. Reese

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H. B. Reese
H. B. Reese.jpg
H.B.Reese taking a photo
Born Harry Burnett Reese
(1879-05-24)May 24, 1879
York County, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died May 16, 1956(1956-05-16) (aged 76)
West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.
Cause of death Heart attack
Resting place Hershey Cemetery
Other names H.B. Reese, HB Reese, Harry Reese, Poppy Reese, Mr. Reese's
Occupation Confectioner
Known for Inventing Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
Title Founder and Chairman of the Board, H.B. Reese Candy Company, Hershey, PA
Spouse(s) Blanche Edna Hyson (m. 1900)
Children Mary Elizabeth Reese Pearson, Robert Hyson Reese, John Manifold Reese, Anna Alfreda Reese Twohig, Edward Irons Reese, Marjorie Marie Reese Staggs, Ralph Collins Reese, Helen Grace Reese Carson, Clara Louise Reese Lauzon, Frances Turner Reese Hoke, Rose Amos Reese Rippon, Mildred Jane Reese, Harry Burnett Reese Jr., Thomas Reese, William Reese, Charles Richard Reese
  • Aquilla Asbury Reese
  • Annie Belinda Manifold
Website www.harryburnettreese.info

Harry Burnett "H. B." Reese (May 24, 1879 – May 16, 1956) was an American inventor and businessman known for creating Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and founding the H. B. Reese Candy Company.[1]


Reese was born in York County, Pennsylvania on an agricultural and dairy farm.[1] He was the son of Annie Belinda (Manifold) and Aquilla Asbury Reese.[2] He married Blanche Edna (Hyson) Reese on August 1, 1900.[1] H.B Reese invented Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in 1928.[1]

He first moved to Hershey, Pennsylvania in 1917, where he enjoyed a relatively prosperous job on a dairy farm owned by The Hershey Company until the farm was closed by Hershey's.[1] Not long after moving his family to Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, Reese moved back to Hershey, again working for Hershey's.[1] Always an entrepreneur and inspired by his work, Reese began experimenting with candies in his basement, by 1923 he created the H. B. Reese Candy Company.[1] He built a new home and factory for his growing business in 1926, selling a large assortment of candies.[1] By 1928, H. B. and Blanche had sixteen children.[1] That same year, H. B. Reese invented Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.[1] H.B. Reese initially sold his many candies on consignment to retail stores, but by 1935 he was a success and was able to pay off all his mortgages.[1]

During World War II, economic constraints and scarcity of materials led him to discontinue his other candies and concentrate solely on his peanut butter cups, his most popular offering.[1]


Reese died on May 16, 1956 of a heart attack in West Palm Beach, Florida, at the age of 76.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "REESE'S Peanut Butter Cups". Brad Reese Peanut Butter and Chocolate. Retrieved 14 October 2016. 
  2. ^ Reese, Andrew (2008). REESE'S Peanut Butter Cups: The Untold Story: Inventor, H.B. Reese. iUniverse. p. 2. ISBN 978-0595487073. 
  3. ^ "Reese Candy Company". Hershey Community Archives. Retrieved 14 October 2016. 

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