Foregoers

Estée Lauder

b. 1908, Corona, NY, d. 2004. Founder of the current world cosmetics leader, Estee Lauder Companies Inc., which employs some 10,000 people around the globe and today controls 45 per cent of the cosmetics market in US department stores and is sold in over 100 markets under well recognized brand names: Estee Lauder, Aramis, Clinique, Tommy Hilfiger, etc.

Estée Lauder was born Josephine Esther Mentzer in Queens, New York, to Max and Rose Mentzer (Schotz Rosenthal), a Hungarian immigrant. Estée was about nineteen when she married Joseph Lauter. In about 1937, Estée Lauder began to use the Lauder spelling of her name for her products. After 20 years of slow hard work in the cosmetics industry, starting by selling a face cream made by her Hungarian uncle, she brought out her Youth Dew scented bath oil, which was an enormous success in the 1950s and 1960s. Innovative, with a talent for adapting, marketing and promotion, she built up an estimated $1 billion a year business.

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