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Estée Lauder

Estée Lauder with a customer (1966)
Born Josephine Esther Mentzer
July 1, 1906(1906-07-01)
Corona, Queens, New York
Died April 24, 2004 (aged 97)
Manhattan, New York
Nationality American

Estée Lauder (July 1, 1906[1] – April 24, 2004) was the American co-founder, with her husband Joseph Lauder, of Estée Lauder Companies, a pioneering cosmetics company.


She was born Josephine Esther Mentzer in Corona, Queens, New York[2], the daughter of a Hungarian mother and a Czechoslovak father. She was the only woman on TIME magazine's 1998 list of the 20 most influential business geniuses of the 20th century. She was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1988.

She married Joseph Lauder in 1930. They created the company together. They had two sons, Leonard and Ronald. Estée divorced Joseph in 1939, and re-married him in 1942. The couple remained married thereafter until his death in 1982. The Estée Lauder company was created in 1935. Her older son, Leonard Lauder, was chief executive of Estée Lauder and is now chairman of the board. Her younger son, Ronald Lauder, is a prominent philanthropist, a Republican political appointee in the Reagan administration, and developer of property in Berlin, among other endeavors.

Lauder died of cardiopulmonary arrest, aged 97.[3]


  1. ^ born in 1906 per her own family; also see [1], [2], [3]
  2. ^ Severo, Richard. "Estée Lauder, Pursuer of Beauty And Cosmetics Titan, Dies at 97", The New York Times, April 26, 2004. Accessed October 1, 2009. "Josephine Esther Mentzer was born at home in Corona, Queens, on July 1, 1908, according to several biographies, although her family believes it may have been two years earlier."
  3. ^ "Cosmetics Mogul Estee Lauder Dies". 2004-04-25. Retrieved 2008-08-08.  

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