Charles B. (Byrd) Looper

Charles B. (Byrd) Looper

Class of 2001

Born on March 15, 1931, in Gastonia, NC, Byrd attended Duke University on a football scholarship. In 1954, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree, majoring in English and history, and then served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps until 1957.

In 1955, Byrd married LaNelle Edwards in Goldsboro, NC. They raised two daughters, Lisa and Lesley, and are the grandparents of two granddaughters.

Byrd began his career in 1957 as a case soap salesman with Procter & Gamble Co. Three years later, he joined Clinton Corn Processing Co. a division of Standard Brands Inc. as a salesman and was soon promoted to Atlanta district sales manager. In 1967, he joined American Candy Co. as director of sales and marketing and was promoted to president in 1979. He retired in 1990.

A 23-year veteran of the candy business, Byrd served on the board of the National Confectioners Association from 1981 to 1990. He was honored as a Candy Dean by the former National Candy Wholesalers Association in 1980.

To Byrd, the most memorable moment in his career came in 1977 when American Candy was awarded a national license by The Walt Disney Co. This development enabled our company to gain national and international recognition in the specialty candy field, thus significantly expanding the company’s sales and profits, Byrd explains.

Byrd’s philosophy on being successful in the candy business is to work hard and build strong personal relationships with customers, employees, suppliers and members of the candy industry- at all levels.

An active member of the Selma community, Byrd was honored as an Olympic Games Torch Bearer in 1996, and in 1998 he was honored as Citizen of the Year by the Selma Rotary Club. He also served his community as chairman of the Selma Downtown Redevelopment Authority.

Byrd passed away January 8, 2018.