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Hess: A builder, visionary, entrepreneur, patriot and leader. Above all, a great father and family man. The remarkable qualities that made Leon Hess so special are at the heart of the Hess Toy Truck. Born in Asbury Park, New Jersey in 1914, Leon Hess grew up during the Depression. After finishing high school and unable to afford college, he bought a second hand truck and started a business delivering fuel oil to homes in New Jersey in 1933. When he passed away in 1999 at the age of 85, Hess Corporation had grown into one of the world’s largest energy companies.