November 14, 2011

Evelyn Lauder

Estee Lauder…..a name certainly associated with beauty. Estee founded the company in 1946 with six products, and it has grown into one of the largest beauty companies in the world. Evelyn, Estee’s daughter-in-law, who wore many hats at the company, passed away on November 12, 2011 due to complications of non-genetic ovarian cancer. We at It’s a Glam Thing would like to give condolences to her family.

Evelyn Lauder was a seasoned business woman, and an active philanthropist. In addition to all of the wonderful beauty products she helped create, she also helped create the pink ribbon, the symbol for breast cancer awareness. A pioneer of the cause, she was instrumental in getting corporations involved not only in donations, but also to help to create education and awareness. A breast cancer survivor herself, she became a strong voice on behalf of women’s health. She was always reluctant to discuss her own condition. “My situation doesn’t really matter,” she told a reporter in 1995. While she may have been reticent to discuss her own condition, it was her dedication to reminding other women of the dangers of breast cancer that created the pink ribbon symbol.

Lauder and Alexandra Penney, who was then editor of Self magazine, put together Self magazine’s first annual issue for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in April 1991 to bring the issues of breast cancer to the forefront. The issue was a huge success. In 1992, they created and formalized the pink ribbon as a symbol for breast cancer awareness. Lauder and Penney wanted to improve on the success of the magazine’s first annual issue and the creation of a symbol would help further awareness and visibility. Lauder herself made the commitment to have the ribbons placed on the company’s cosmetic counters across the United States. The sales people would wear them, and they would be given out as a reminder to get screened.

She also began creating cosmetics whose sales would specifically go to breast cancer awareness, the first being a new shade called Pink Ribbon in 1993. Her husband Leonard paid the cost of registering The Breast Cancer Research Foundation in all 50 states. The breast cancer awareness campaign that started “small” campaign, one to remind women about getting screened for breast cancer, had by the start of 1995, raised some $900,000 including $120,000 from the sale of Pink Ribbon lipstick and blusher and $190,000 from the sale of Clinique Berry Kiss pink lipstick. By October 2008, the Estée Lauder Companies estimated that the firm’s Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign had raised $35 million towards research and distributed 80 million pink ribbons. Congress making October Cancer Awareness Month would never have happened if it had not been for companies like Estee Lauder leading the way.

Lauder also founded the organization The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The foundation has raised over $330 million in donations of which $50 million came from Estee Lauder and associates.

Evelyn was also an avid photographer whose celebrated photos captured many beautiful images. “In capturing a singular moment, photography has also helped me learn how to let go of things I want to hold on to so tightly. You can’t hold back time, but you can look forward to what’s coming next and do everything in power to create the best possible future.” Thank you Evelyn for helping to create a brighter future!


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