Hans Riegel, the marketing genius that helped make Gummi Bears a global favorite, passed away yesterday in Bonn, Germany at the age of 90. 

According to Haribo, the company that he oversaw for nearly 70 years, the cause of death was heart failure. The New York Times adds that Riegel underwent surgery to have a benign tumor removed from his brain months ago. 

Harino was founded by Riegel's father in 1920. After his father was killed in 1945 during World War ll, Riegel and his brother took control of the company, taking it from a local business with 30 employees to an international brand with annual sales of over $2 billion. 

Gummi Bears proved to be popular in Germany, so Riegel introduced them to Austrian, Sweden and Britain during the 1970s before bringing them to the U.S. in 1982.

[via New York Times]