Ronald Reagan Ate Jelly Beans to Give Up Smoking While Running for Governor in 1966

According to Reagan Library archives, when Ronald Reagan ran for Governor of California in 1966, he began eating jelly beans made by the Oakland based Herman Goelitz Candy Company. Why? To give up pipe smoking. It worked. 

He continued receiving Goelitz Mini Jelly Beans from the company for the duration of his two terms. Then he continued receiving shipments from Goelitz, which in 1976 launched a new brand, Jelly Belly. 

Then in 1981, 3 1/2 tons of red (Very Cherry), white (Coconut) and blue (Blueberry) Jelly Belly jelly beans were shipped to Reagan's Presidential Inauguration ceremony.

And the Jelly Belly jelly bean brigade continued for the duration of Reagan's eight years in office. His favorite Jelly Belly flavor was licorice.

And as many of you know, there's an image of Reagan done completely in Jelly Belly jelly beans at the Reagan Library. It took about 10,000 of them to complete this work of art.

More information at

More on the Reagan Library at THIS LINK.

Jelly Belly is a privately-owned company based in Fairfield, California. Open for tours at

"You can tell a lot about a fella's character by whether he picks out all of one color or just grabs a handful."  - President Reagan (in reference to jelly beans)