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In the early 1900s, chocolate tycoon Milton Hershey founded the Hershey School for fatherless poor boys,with the intention of instilling them with Christian values, a hard work ethic and the promise of a better future. But all was not what it seemed.

The Chocolate Trust tells a different story about the school—a story of pupils who worked as indentured laborers for the Hershey Company; a Trust that has raked in billions in endowments, though the money is diverted from the intended beneficiaries—the children—and put into Hersheypark, and a new golf course; and the recent history of the school—two decades that have seen scandal, internal strife, politics, sexual abuse, soaring board compensation and a revolving door of poor youths.

Through shrewd reporting and firsthand accounts, Bob Fernandez’s riveting book makes it clear that the legacy of the Hershey School has made Hershey, Pennsylvania far from “the sweetest place on earth.”


About the Author

Bob Fernandez is a staff writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer, currently covering the telecommunications and media industries. He has won multiple journalism awards since his career began in 1987, including for his stories on the Hershey Trust. His first story on the Trust appeared in the Inquirer in 2001.

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