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Robert Leo Hulseman
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    (April 5, 1932-December 21, 2016)
    Born in Chicago, Illinois
    CEO and President of the Solo Cup Company (1980-2016)
    Invented the plastic Solo Cup
    With Jack Clements, invented the Traveler Lid for use on coffee cups and other hot beverage containers
    His dad was founder of the Solo Cup Company, which we’re guessing had more than a little to do with his rise to CEO.
    He arranged the purchase of the rival Sweetheart Cup Company (2004), which saddled Solo with debts, leading to the company being acquired by Dart Container (2012).
    He intended the Solo Cup to be used at picnics, and never expected them to become ubiquitous at tailgates and frat parties.
    Although red was the most popular Solo Cup color, he preferred blue.
    An urban legend claims the three ridges inside the Solo Cup are measuring lines for liquor, wine and beer; they’re actually intended to strengthen the cup.
    He was married to his wife Shelia for 60 years.
    The Traveler Lid was included in the Museum of Modern Art’s ‘Humble Masterpieces of Design’ exhibit (2004).
    The Solo Cup withstands dropping, and is stackable, disposable and cheap.
    He came up with the Solo Cup’s two-tone design: solid colors on the outside to hide what you’re drinking, white on the inside so the beverage looks natural to the drinker.
    He may not have a tribute song, but thanks to Toby Keith, his cup does.

Credit: C. Fishel

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