Jacqueline Mars: A Steward of Heritage and Horses
Jacqueline Mars, born on October 10, 1939, is an American heiress and investor renowned for her connections to Mars, Incorporated, the iconic candy company established by her family. As of October 2022, she ranked 22nd on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index’s global list of wealthiest individuals. In 2024, Forbes estimated her net worth at an impressive 3,920 crores USD, securing her place among the world’s richest women.
Rooted in Education and Equestrian Pursuits
Jacqueline Mars began her education at Miss Hall’s School in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, nurturing a lifelong passion for equestrian activities, and participating in numerous horse shows during her youth. Graduating from Bryn Mawr College in 1961 with a degree in anthropology showcased her diverse interests and commitment to education.
The Mars Legacy and Heiress to an Empire
As a member of the visionary Mars family, founders of Mars, Incorporated, Jacqueline Mars holds shares in the company. Forbes valued her shares and family assets at $23.5 billion in January 2019, ranking her 18th among Americans and 34th on the “World’s Billionaires” list. Active in Mars, Inc. since 1982, she served as the food product group president until her retirement in 2001, contributing significantly to the family business.
Recognised as the wealthiest resident of Virginia by Forbes in June 2019, with an estimated net worth of $28.1 billion, Jacqueline Mars continues to leave an indelible mark in the business and philanthropy spheres.
Philanthropy and Cultural Contributions
Beyond her business and equestrian accomplishments, Jacqueline Mars is a dedicated philanthropist. As a trustee of the U.S. Equestrian Team, she owns an organic farm protected by the Land Trust of Virginia. Her commitment to preserving American heritage is evident through her board positions at the Washington National Opera and the National Sporting Library and Fine Arts Museum.
Mars also serves on the National Advisory Council of the Journey through Hallowed Ground, a foundation promoting American heritage from Gettysburg to Monticello. Contributions to the League of Conservation Voters underscore her commitment to environmental preservation.
Recognising her profound contributions, Jacqueline Mars received the inaugural Heritage Award from the Foundation for the National Archives, showcasing her dedication to preserving and celebrating the historical legacy of the United States.
A Test of Resilience
In 2013, Jacqueline Mars faced a significant challenge when she was involved in a tragic car crash in Aldie, Northern Virginia. Despite the unfortunate incident, she displayed resilience, pleading guilty to a misdemeanour charge of reckless driving. Subsequent tests revealed no influence of drugs, alcohol, or medications.
Jacqueline Mars’s life story embodies her family’s legacy, passion for equestrian pursuits, and unwavering dedication to preserving American heritage. Her philanthropic endeavours and commitment to cultural institutions have solidified her influence in various realms, making her a resilient and impactful individual despite challenges.