Nello Ferrara, “Lemonhead” and “Atomic Fire Balls” Candy Creator, Dies at 93

Sugar fanatics and sweets connoisseurs have reason to mourn: Nello Ferrara, the inventor of Atomic FireBalls, Lemonheads, Boston Baked Beans and Black Forest Gummy Bears died Friday of cancer at his home in River Forest, Illnois. He was 93.

Nello Ferrara was the chairman of Chicago’s Ferrara Pan Candy Co., which makes about 1 million pounds of iconic candy a year in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

According to a report by the NY Times, Ferrara began operations at the company in 1947 looking to accelerate the work his father, Ferrera Pan founder Salvatore, started in Chicago in 1908. A few years after joining the company, Ferrara Pan began rolling out new candies, including the Atomic Fireball.

Ferrara hatched the idea of the spicy FireBalls in 1954 after serving in post-atomic-bomb Occupied Japan, his CEO son told the Sun Times. Lemonhead followed in 1962. Ferrara joked that his inspiration came from his son’s head, which he said was shaped like, yes, a lemon.

Other notable Ferrara confections include Boston Baked Beans, Jawbusters and Red Hots.

“He was an icon in the industry,” said Larry Graham, president of the National Confectioners Association. “He was known for helping out other candy companies in distress, for cementing deals with just a handshake, and for being a great ambassador for the industry.”

Besides his son, Nello Ferrara is survived by his wife of 63 years, Marilyn, and two daughters, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

via Chicago SunTimes

Share this article: Nello Ferrara, “Lemonhead” and “Atomic Fire Balls” Candy Creator, Dies at 93
More from Inquisitr