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Who was Donald Tober? Here's why Sweet'N Low magnate, 89, jumped from luxurious $10 million Park Avenue apartment

Tober's net worth is not public but his company, Sugar Foods, is known to have clocked an annual revenue of $286 million in 2018
UPDATED JAN 16, 2021
Sweet’N Low CEO Donald Tober with wife Barbara (Getty Images)
Sweet’N Low CEO Donald Tober with wife Barbara (Getty Images)

In a traumatic turn of events, 89-year-old Donald Tober, the CEO of popular artificial sweetener firm Sweet’N Low, died from suicide on January 15, Friday. An octogenarian, Tober was reportedly suffering from Parkinson’s disease and leaped to death from the 11th floor of his apartment in New York City. The incident happened in the early morning of January 15, around 5 AM as investigators are estimating.

His body was later discovered in the courtyard of his apartment complex. Tober resided with his wife Barbara Donovan Tober in the luxury apartment on Park Avenue, Upper East Side of New York City. The apartment was reportedly priced at around $10 million. His net worth is not public but his company Sugar Foods is known to have clocked an annual revenue of $286 million in 2018.

Donald Tober's contribution to Sweet'N Low

Sweet’N Low is almost a staple across American restaurants and households as people are choosing to cut down on sugar and opt for its low-calorie alternative. The parent firm, Sugar Foods, was founded way back in 1948 by Tober’s father. 

Donald Tober (Right) attend a gala (Getty Images)

After graduating from Harvard Law School, a young Donald Tober joined the firm in the 1970s. His dedication, hard work, and business acumen helped expand the firm into the multi-million dollar business it is today. Though the firm specializes in snacks, condiments, and sweeteners, it is their Sweet’N Low artificial sweetener that has earned the maximum popularity. Its characteristic pink packaging has almost become iconic with America’s food scene. 

Though Sugar Foods do not distribute Sweet’N Low any longer, it is still one of the leaders in food production in USA. 

Donald Tober was the man who can be attributed to having single-handedly lifted Sweet’N Low to its peak popularity. He also served as a chairman at The Culinary Institute of America. He was beloved and well-respected in his professional domain. 

Who is Donald Tober's wife Barbara?

In personal life, Tober was married to journalist and editor Barbara Donovan Tober for 47 years since 1973. The couple was known to be in a happy relationship who regularly engaged in philanthropic activities. They regularly donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center, and the Juilliard School. In fact, they co-founded the well-known Meals-on-Wheels program in New York City. The couple, who were childless, were described by their friends as ‘seasoned world travelers, avid equestrians and skiers’, indicating the duo’s love for adventure. 

Donald Tober (L) and Barbara Tober in 2017 (Getty Images)

Reminiscing his memory after his tragic demise, Steve Odell, president of Sugar Foods told New York Post, “Donald IS Sweet’N Low…..Donald left us with eight words, and we live them every day. The first two words are ‘Be prepared.’ The second is ‘Show up.’ The third, two words are ‘On time.’ And the last two are ‘Follow through’.”

Incidentally, Odell had been Tober’s business partner for 51 years and holds keep in high regard. 

He also revealed that Tober was affected by a ‘devastating’ disease and had to fight against it every day. Nevertheless, his sudden suicide is still shocking and heartbreaking for Odell. He added that during his last conversation with Tober a day before, he could not sense any indication of any trouble that would push him to take such a dreadful step. 

If you are in crisis or you think you may have an emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. If you're having suicidal thoughts, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to talk to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area at any time (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline). If you are located outside the United States, call your local emergency line immediately.