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Robert Harris

robert harris

HARRIS–Robert Myron (Bob) was born on December 16, 1925 in New York City and died at home in Englewood, NJ surrounded by family on July 5, 2021. Predeceased by his beloved wife, Cecily, he was the adored father of Peter, Susan and James, and the cherished grandfather of Zoe, Benjamin, Elisa, Elizabeth, Siena, and Elijah. He leaves behind a wealth of treasured memories and a model for realizing a full and loving life.
After a successful career as an advertising and marketing executive, he struck out on his own becoming an unparalleled entrepreneur. Because of his family history of heart disease, he was driven to develop products that would improve peoples health. He started Nutrition Industries in 1972 and worked with his wife and two sons to manufacture and distribute low fat margarine, cheese, mayonnaise and salad dressings under the Weight Watchers name. After selling the Weight Watchers licenses to H.J. Heinz in 1987, he introduced his own brands, Heart Beat and then Smart Balance. He worked with scientists at Brandeis University to market their new, patented oil blend with balanced saturated and polyunsaturated fats, and developed a line of products that were at the forefront of efforts to eliminate trans-fatty acids. After seventeen years, Bob sold Smart Balance in 2007 and, at the age of 82, created Grain Berry Cereals and collaborated with his son, Peter, of Silver Palate Kitchens. In 2012 he was granted a patent for Grain Berrys combination of whole grains and high-tannin sorghum bran that provides high levels of natural antioxidants and natural fiber. Subsequently he worked with Texas A&M to develop Onyx Sorghum, a blend of high tannins and 3-Dioxy Antioxidants, that showed its superiority over whole wheat in reducing glucose and carbohydrates. His tireless efforts to develop Grainberrys 3-D antioxidant products, driven by his passion to fight diabetes, cancer, heart disease, continued to his very last days. The creativity that nourished him nourished others.
In lieu of flowers please consider supporting the American Kidney Fund or COPD Foundation in his honor. For info 201-947-3336 or

Graveside Service

11:30 am – 12:30 am Thursday, July 8, 2021

Mount Hope Cemetery
50 Jackson Avenue
Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, United States

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  1. I only met the famous Bop twice. He was already in his 90s. I was very curious about his creations and about how he raised such a wonderful daughter. I was ready with a lot of questions. But even at that age, he beat me to the punch, peppering me with questions about what I was doing and creating in the world. Totally Inspiring and fun.

  2. My deepest condolences to everyone, as I just found out that we lost Bob. My sharpest memories of Uncle Bob, aside from hearing his voice of numerous radio commercials for his company’s products, are from that wonderful family reunion years ago. I wish I’d been closer to him, and to everyone else, throughout my life as well. But my memories of Bob even from so limited a time are just amazing. Such a monumental loss. All of my love, Sincerely, Kevin Harris

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