Life Savers have holes in them because the inventor, Clarence Crane, wanted to create a unique candy. Crane named his candy Life Savers, because its shape reminded him of miniaturized life preservers.
Crane, a chocolate maker, wanted to create a candy that wouldn't melt in the summer. In 1912, he created a mint with a hole punched through the middle in order to stand out from other mints of the time. Because of their shape, he named the candy Life Savers, and it was originally released in Pep-O-Mint flavor.
In 1918, the Wint-O-Green flavor arrived. In 1935, five new flavors, including lemon, lime, orange, pineapple and cherry, came in a tin foil pack. By 1990, there were also Life Savers pops and Life Savers holes. Life Savers gummies appeared in 1992 in various flavors. In 2001, Life Savers sours were introduced.