Pressing shoulder-to-shoulder through swarming crowds in Times Square in New York, I am invariably drawn to the 16-story chocolate bar overlooking one of the world's great chocolate emporiums -- the giant Hershey store on Broadway and 48th Street, where vast quantities of Hershey's chocolates reign supreme. Hershey's empire was not built in a day, but it has withstood the ravages of changing consumer tastes and recessions. Chocolate is no longer a luxury; it's a necessity like air and water. But if chocolate represents the foundation of Hershey's empire, massive doses of philanthropy make up its structure. The story of Milton Hershey is one of successive failures followed by triumph. He was born Sept. 13, 1857, on the family farm in Derry Church, Pa. Although his grandparents were well-off by rural standards, his father's ill-advised investments caused a steep decline in the family's fortunes. They moved so often that Hershey attended seven schools in eight years before dropping out in 1867 while in the fourth grade.