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Biography

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Overview (3)

Date of Birth 1 July 1908New York, USA
Date of Death 26 April 2004Manhattan, New York, USA  (cardiopulmonary arrest)
Birth NameJosephine Esther Mentzer

Mini Bio (1)

Estee Lauder was the daughter of immigrants, and lived above her father's hardware store in working-class Queens. Her family called her 'Esty', and when a public school official spelled it Estee, it stuck. In 1930, she married a garment center businessman named Joseph Lauter (later changed to Lauder), and had a son, Leonard. During the 1930s, she began selling face creams that her uncle, a chemist, mixed in a makeshift laboratory behind the family house. Estee went to beauty salons to give free demonstrations to women under hair dryers.

In 1939, she divorced Joseph and moved to Florida. She and Joseph remarried in 1942, had a second son, Ronald, and went into business together. Her persistence paid off in 1948, when she persuaded a buyer at Saks to place an order. She and her husband filled the order themselves, cooking up the creams in their factory and bottling them in attractive jars. In two days, Saks sold out.

Estee Lauder became a household name in 1953, when she introduced a fragrance, Youth Dew, a bath oil that doubled as a perfume. She gave her friends and acquaintances samples of her products for their handbags; she wanted her brand in the hands of people who were known for having the best. She even courted Princess Grace of Monaco, who became a friend after Lauder persistently sent her beauty products. She enjoyed entertaining in her Upper East Side townhouse, her oceanfront home in Palm Beach, her London flat, and her villa in the south of France. She often invited "beautiful people", the rich and famous, to dine with her.

After being vague about her background for years, Lauder published her autobiography, 'Estee: A Success Story', in 1985. Lauder and her husband were active in philanthropic work, though her public life dwindled after she broke her hip in 1994. In 1995, the company went public. In 1998, Estee was the only woman on Time magazine's listing of the 20 most influential business geniuses of the century.

Estee died in April 2004. She was aged at least 95, though no one could confirm her actual date of birth. Even her family believed that she may have been two years older. At the time of her death, Forbes magazine estimated the net worth of her family at $5.1 billion total, ranked among the top 300 richest people in the world.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (2)

Joseph Lauder (7 December 1942 - 1983) (his death) (1 child)
Joseph Lauder (15 January 1930 - 1939) (divorced) (1 child)

Trivia (2)

Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 7, 2003-2005, pages 324-326. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2007.
Divorced business partner Joseph Lauder, then remarried him three years later. Had two sons, Leonard (b. 19 March 1933), and Ronald Lauder. Leonard is chairman emeritus of the Estée Lauder Companies, which owns such brands as Daisy Fuentes, Sean Combs's Sean John, Tommy Hilfiger, Donna Karan, Michael Kors, and Tom Ford.

Personal Quotes (2)

Beauty is an attitude. There's no secret. Why are all brides beautiful? Because on their wedding day they care about how they look. There are no ugly women - only women who don't care or who don't believe they're attractive.
I didn't get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it.

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