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We're All Going to Need a Drink -- Inventor of the Red Solo Cup Died

Robert Leo Hulseman, who brought joy and beverages to all, died at the age of 84.


If you’ve been to a party in your lifetime, you’ve surely had a sip from Robert Leo Hulseman’s signature invention: the red Solo Cup.

Scukrov | Getty Images

We're sad to say that Hulseman's family announced that the innovator died at the age of 84, adding to the list of notable people who passed away in 2016.

Hulseman worked his way up the chain of command at the Red Solo Cup Company, starting on the factory floor at age 18 and eventually taking over as president and CEO.

Related: Here's What Happens When You Open a $3,000 Bottle of Scotch

The company, begun by his father, originally made cone-shaped paper cups for water coolers. It wasn’t until the 1970s that the idea for the red plastic cup was born. Speaking to Slate a few years ago, Kim Healy, Red Solo Cup's VP of consumer business, explained its appeal: “I’ve been here 12 years, and I’ve tested this over and over. Consumers prefer red, and it’s not very close. I think for one thing it’s a neutral color that’s appealing to both men and women. It’s also just become a standard.”

So tap a keg and let’s all raise a cup to Mr. Hulseman, whose invention has helped Americans celebrate for more than 40 years. 

To help ease the pain (or add to it, depending on how you feel about country music) here's Toby Keith's ode to the cup of kings.

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