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The inventor of the red Solo cup, Robert Leo Hulseman, has died. Curse you, 2016.

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Earlier this week the world lost Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, and it seems like not a day goes by that 2016 claims another icon. But last week, the world lost the true life of the party: the inventor of the red Solo cup. 

Robert Leo Hulseman died last week at the age of 84. 


Hulseman's name may not have been well-known, but the brand has probably been a part of every adult party you've ever been to -- especially the ones you never told your parents about.

Worked at dad's factory for 60 years

The Solo Cup Company was launched in 1936 by Hulseman's dad, and Robert Hulseman started working at the company's factory at just 18, according to his obituary on Legacy.com. During the course of 60 years, Hulseman worked his way up and eventually became CEO of the company. 

The company initially produced the cone-shaped cups that you find by the water cooler, but by the 1970s Hulseman designed the red Solo cups, which have become a party staple. 

'Hands-on manufacturing expert'


"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," according to his obituary. 

The cups are made of molded polystyrene and, of course, come in the classic red color. The company has tested other colors like blue, but red continues to outsell the others. The Solo cup has evolved over the years, but its iconic status will likely last a long time.

WATCH  | The red Solo cup was such a hit that it was eventually the topic of a 2011 hit by country singer Toby Keith. As Keith says in his song: "Red solo cup you're more than just plastic/ You're more than amazing you're more than fantastic." (NSFW version)

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