Lady in pink, Evelyn Lauder has died aged 75
“Lauder, who has died aged 75, created the pink ribbon campaign for breast cancer awareness with her friend Alexandra Penney, the former editor-in-chief of Self magazine, in 1992.”
That movement will serve many lifetimes.
“Evelyn Lauder, founder of pink ribbon breast cancer campaign, dies aged 75
The Estée Lauder executive and a friend created the breast cancer awareness campaign in 1992
Associated Press in New York
In her long career as an executive at Estée Lauder, the company founded by her mother-in-law, Evelyn Lauder worked with many shades of red, peach and bronze, but pink was the hue that changed her life.
Lauder, who has died aged 75, created the pink ribbon campaign for breast cancer awareness with her friend Alexandra Penney, the former editor-in-chief of Self magazine, in 1992.
That grew into fundraising products, congressional designation of October as breast cancer awareness month and $330m (£207m) in donations – $50m from Estée Lauder and its partners – to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which Lauder also started.
That money helped establish the Evelyn H Lauder Breast Centre at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York, which opened in 2009.
Lauder died on Saturday at her Manhattan home from complications of non-genetic ovarian cancer. Just last month, she reminisced about the early days of the breast cancer campaign. When it launched, it was so little known that some people thought it symbolised Aids awareness.
"There had been no publicity about breast cancer, but a confluence of events – the pink ribbon, the colour, the press, partnering with Elizabeth Hurley, having Estée Lauder as an advertiser in so magazines and persuading so many of my friends who are health and beauty editors to do stories about breast health – got people talking," she said.
Then, three years after distributing the first pink ribbon, a flight attendant noted it on Lauder's lapel and said: "I know that's for breast cancer."
"From there, it became ubiquitous," she remembered.
Lauder was diagnosed with cancer in 2007, but it did not slow her down much. Each October, she appeared at cancer awareness events around the world.
The rest of the time, she went to work at Estée Lauder's Fifth Avenue headquarters, which, despite its annual revenue of $2.48bn, was run much like a family business.
Over the years, Evelyn Lauder would hold many positions there and she helped develop its lines of skincare, makeup and fragrance.
She came up with the name of its popular Clinique brand during the 1960s. Most recently, she held the title of senior corporate vice-president.
Her other passion was photography, and she was the author of the book In Great Taste: Fresh, Simple Recipes for Eating and Living Well.
Born Evelyn Hausner in 1936 in Vienna, Austria, she fled Nazi-occupied Europe with her parents, and they settled in the US. She attended public schools in New York City and Hunter College, part of the City University of New York.
At college, she met her husband, the elder son of Estée Lauder, whose family owned what was then a small cosmetics company.
"We had five products in the line. We only had two or three colours in our lipsticks," she told the cable news channel NY1 in 2005. "It was a baby company."
The young couple married in 1959. Leonard Lauder is now chairman emeritus of the company. Estée Lauder died in 2004 aged 97.
Leonard and Evelyn Lauder's son William is executive chairman of Estée Lauder Companies. Another son, Gary, is managing director of Lauder Partners LLC, a technology investment firm.”