Evelyn Lauder Leaves Behind Pink Ribbon Legacy
Evelyn Lauder, 75, died Saturday at her Manhattan home from complications of non-genetic ovarian cancer, according to various media reports.
She was born Evelyn Hausner in Vienna, Austria, and later escaped Nazi-occupied Europe with her parents before settling in the U.S.
Shortly after marrying Leonard A. Lauder, the chairman emeritus of the Estée Lauder Companies, in 1959, she began working in the family business.
Evelyn enjoyed a special relationship with her mother-in-law, Estée Lauder, and had a long and extremely successful career as an executive in the Estée Lauder company.
Besides her successes with Estée Lauder she helped bring attention to the fight against Breast Cancer. Along with her friend and former Self editor-in-chief Alexandra Penney, she created the famous pink ribbon campaign for breast cancer awareness in 1992.
Although Lauder learned she had the disease in 1989, she drew little attention to her own breast cancer battle.
She choose instead to focus on women's health in general. In the early days Evelyn and her husband, Leonard, paid for the little pink bows which were handed out at the department store makeup counters to remind people about having breast examinations. She also founded the Breast Cancer Research Foundation which raised more than $350 million dollars.
Leonard and Evelyn Lauder's son William is executive chairman of Estée Lauder Companies, and son Gary is managing director of Lauder Partners LLC, a technology investment firm.
"My mother carried the torch of our Company heritage and the values that were passed to her by my grandmother, Mrs. Estée Lauder," William said in a statement."My mother and father were life partners as well as business partners. They nurtured the culture and growth of the Estée Lauder Companies, and as we grew, my mother was our creative compass and pillar of strength. Together my family and the company celebrate the beautiful person she was."