Inventor of the Red Solo Cup, Robert Leo Hulseman, Dies at 84

Robert Leo Hulseman
President and CEO of the Solo Cup Company Robert Leo Hulseman. 

The creator of the Red Solo Cup, Robert Leo Hulseman, died at the age of 84 on Wednesday, December 21. He was surrounded by family when he passed away peacefully, according to his obituary.

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Hulseman began working at his father’s business, Solo Cup Company, at the age of 18. He eventually became president and CEO and retired after 60 years in 2015.

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The factory created cone-shaped paper cups in the 1940s. Hulseman was credited for inventing the Red Solo Cup in the 1970s.

red solo cup red plastic cup
The red solo cup. Getty Images

“He was known as an innovator, a hands-on manufacturing expert, and an industry pioneer; many of the products he developed are ubiquitous today, including the Red Solo Cup and the Traveller Lid,” Hulseman’s obituary reads. “Throughout his life, Bob was a gentleman who demonstrated class at all turns and a great deal of trust in others.”

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Hulseman lived in Northfield, Illinois, but spent most of his time in Scottsdale, Arizona. He was committed to Catholic education and anti-poverty initiatives, loved to write poetry, “had a gift for music,” was “a competitive tennis player” and played polo in his youth.

Toby Keith Red Solo Cup Princess Leia
Toby Keith’s video for ‘Red Solo Cup.’

Hulseman was married to his late wife, Sheila Murphy Hulseman, for nearly six decades. The couple had 10 children.

He is survived by nine of his kids, 11 nieces and nephews and 29 grandchildren.

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