Milton Hershey




9/13/1857--10/13/1945 (age 88)

Milton Hershey (1857-1945) was a philanthropist and visionary who found the courage to make his greatest dreams come true.  A modest man of principle, he was committed to the highest standards of honesty, fairness and integrity.  Those who worked with him were inspired by his imagination and drive, his perseverance and his care and concern for others.  His generosity was as sweet as the “the great American chocolate bar” he created.  In 1918 at the age of 61, Hershey gave his entire personal fortune to a school for orphans that he and his wife Catherine established.  A statue of Milton at The Hershey School includes these words: “His deeds are his monument. His life is our inspiration.”


Chocolate King

(By Jonathan Sprout & Dave Kinnoin)

Hard work, clear vision,

A stubborn refusal to fail.

Flat broke but not broken.

How does a dream prevail?

Hope's hurting but it's far from gone.

Sometimes you gotta keep keepin' on.


Refrain: Believe and never stop.

Keep your eyes on the mountaintop.

A little bump in the road doesn't mean a thing

To the Chocolate King.


Success tastes sweeter

When shared with another kid.

You feel satisfaction

The way Mr. Hershey did.

Each day is bright and new

When a kind heart is leading you.





One boy whose lofty aim is

To make it big some day

Becomes the man whose claim to fame is

He gave it away.



© 2009 Kanukatunes (ASCAP) & Song Wizard Music (ASCAP) 

Give them quality. That's the best kind of advertising.”  -- Milton Hershey

 "If I ever become rich, I am going to use my money to build schools to give every boy and girl an opportunity to get an education." (reportedly spoken by a young Milton Hershey)

  When once asked what his religion was, Milton Hershey is said to have replied, "The Golden Rule."

"God speaks through men to speak the truth, our hands to do His work here below, voices and clean hands to make liberty and love prevail over injustice and hate." -- Milton Hershey

 "Without faith; in our work and in ourselves we cannot succeed in a long measure in life's undertaking. Without faith we cannot know our God and Creator." -- Milton Hershey

 "I am a Christian in the only sense that Christ wished anyone to be, sincerely attached to his doctrine in preference to all others. I became a Mennonite when I went to church with my mother, and I am still a Mennonite." -- Milton Hershey

 Mr. Hershey maintained that hard luck and misfortune are good for you; that they test your nettle, strength and character.

"Therefore, you should take your problem as you asked it, nay pray for it. Difficulties show men what they are." -- Milton Hershey

 "We should deal with one another not as classes but as persons, as brothers. The more closely we work together, the more effectively can we contribute to the better health of all mankind; this should be our common objective and its achievement would make the world a happier place in which to live." -- Milton Hershey 

"I admire that man. He does not want charity or anyone to support his family. Although he is a skilled mechanic he told me he would work in a ditch or anywhere to support his family." -- Milton Hershey

 "The value of our good is not measured by what it does, but by the amount of good it does to the one concerned." -- Milton Hershey

 "It isn't what you leave your children but how you leave them." -- Milton Hershey

 "No education, therefore, is complete or indeed sufficient which does not inspire the student with a sense of responsibility; so to live that he shall, by act or by word, install or enforce in the hearts, the minds, the souls, the conscience of men, those eternal varieties of human life without which civilization would perish--to worship one common God, to maintain civic and personal morality, to love our neighbor as ourselves and to govern our conduct accordingly." -- Milton Hershey

 "I am going to build a new high school that will be adequate for many, many years to come. In twenty or twenty-five years the demand for trained mechanics, and technicians will be so great that the schools will not be able to supply the demand. So, I am going to build a Technical-Vocational School which will surpass any other institution of its kind in the world. In twenty or twenty-five years the colleges and universities will not he able to accommodate all the boys and girls who want to go to college. I am going to build a new junior College and when the time comes, we will change the Junior College into a four year college and there should be plenty of money there to do it. I will take the ground between Cocoa Avenue, Governor Road and Homestead Road and make a nice campus for these schools. The Technical-Vocational School will be for the boys in the Milton Hershey School, the children in the Derry Township School and the children of my employees." -- Milton Hershey

 "If the-wrong people or organization get control, they can spend or give away more money in a short time than I have made in my life, to build monuments unto themselves, for their own financial gains, ego and recognition-- whose heads would swell and hearts would shrink, who would give to those who had plenty and take away from those who had little or none." -- Milton Hershey

 "In this blooming civilization, with its economic setup, relatively few men can afford tailor-made suits or shoes built according to their own lasts. But, there is not a man who can't tailor the garments of his own soul; to get an excellent fit in principles; wearing his philosophy in comfort and pride." -- Milton Hershey

   Mr. Hershey was a "doer," not a philosopher. He never wrote and seldom spoke about his beliefs. Nevertheless, he obviously thought a lot about such matters as success and the value and purpose of money.  

He began with so little, learned from numerous failures, and finally succeeded in becoming a very wealthy man.

Milton Hershey was the rarest of men. He had the genius to develop his chocolate business in the right place at the right time.   

But Hershey was more than a chocolatier. He built a trade school for orphan boys in 1909, and continued building even through the Depression. Milton Hershey was not only focused on creating his chocolate empire, but also a great community for his employees to live in during the Great Depression when money was scarce. 


 The Milton Hershey School

 The Hershey Museum

Hershey Community Archives