December 6, 2019

Marjorie Merriweather Post, heiress to the Postum Cereal Company

We honor the legacy of Marjorie Merriweather Post during our anniversary year. The only child of Charles W. Post, she inherited what was then known as the Postum Cereal Company at age 27 after her father died in 1914.

The company at the time was valued at $20 million.

Marjorie not only inherited her father’s company, but also his business savvy and his belief that wealth came with a responsibility to help others.

She became a well-regarded philanthropist, giving to many causes, including the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and the National Symphony Orchestra.

Marjorie started learning about business before she was 10, when her father began taking her to board meetings to hear the discussions. Afterward, she and her father would talk about the company’s plans.

This early introduction to the business world helped Marjorie throughout her life. In 1922, the company went public, and she retained majority ownership.

The company’s name was changed to General Foods in 1929 after a series of acquisitions, including the Jell-O Company, Maxwell House Coffee, Sanka and Birdseye frozen foods, among others.

General Foods went on to become one of the largest food companies in the United States. Marjorie served as a director of the corporation until 1958.

Marjorie led a long and fruitful life. She owned many properties around the country, including at one time, Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. She passed away in 1973.

We owe much to Marjorie Merriweather Post, whose skills and values helped pave the way for the company we know today as Post Consumer Brands.