Evelyn H. Lauder

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Evelyn H. Lauder "is an articulate, outspoken dynamo. An astute businesswoman, skilled sportswoman and talented photographer, she is also an ardent activist and philanthropist, and a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. Born in Vienna and a survivor of the London Blitz, she came to the United States as a youngster with her parents. Her remarkable life is an American success story.

"Shortly after her marriage to Leonard A. Lauder, now Chairman of The Estée Lauder Companies, Evelyn Lauder was persuaded to join the family business by her mother-in-law, Mrs. Estée Lauder. Her teaching background was an excellent springboard for one of her earliest jobs – creating the Company’s initial training programs – and she enhanced the Estée Lauder range by adding many colors and treatment products that appealed to a wider range of complexions and skin types. More than 40 years later, Mrs. Lauder remains a driving force in the success of The Estée Lauder Companies. In 1999, she was featured in Crain’s New York Business magazine as one of New York’s 100 Most Influential Women in Business...

"Evelyn Lauder’s energies and enthusiasm reach outward, too. She is a leader in New York City’s cultural and philanthropic life. As a member of The Lauder Foundation, she was instrumental in presenting a whole new concept of Adventure Playgrounds to the City of New York. From 1967 to 1973, The Lauder Foundation replaced outmoded facilities by building three creative play areas in Central Park that were designed to challenge children’s skills and stimulate their imaginations while placing a strong emphasis on safety and physical fitness. Mrs. Lauder currently serves as Vice President of both The Lauder Foundation and The Leonard and Evelyn Lauder Foundation, and continues to contribute significantly to city parks through her active participation as a board member of the Central Park Conservancy and New Yorkers for Parks (formerly The Parks Council). Many other charities have also benefited from Mrs. Lauder’s thoughtful guidance and renowned generosity, including not-for-profits devoted to health and human services, education and inner-city schools, the environment, women’s causes and the arts.

"However, it is for her formidable role in the battle to defeat breast cancer that Evelyn Lauder is perhaps best known. In October 1992, she and Alexandra Penney, then editor of Self magazine, developed the pink ribbon, which has become the worldwide symbol of breast health. Mrs. Lauder spearheaded the distribution of hundreds of thousands of ribbons and “Breast Self-Exam” instruction cards at Estée Lauder counters across the United States. That effort placed Breast Cancer Awareness at the public forefront. Fifteen years later, more than 60 million pink ribbons and even greater quantities of educational brochures and bookmarks have been given away around the world. The Estée Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign presently extends to over 50 countries and represents the most significant and influential campaign ever instituted to educate women worldwide about the need for early detection and treatment of breast cancer. In 2000, Mrs. Lauder and The Estée Lauder Companies launched its annual “Global Landmarks Illumination Initiative,” in which historic landmarks are illuminated in pink lights during the month of October to focus global attention on this issue. Each year, hundreds of prominent landmarks in more than 40 countries around the world have participated, including famous sites such as The Empire State Building, Niagara Falls, the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy and the Tokyo Tower in Japan.

"Mrs. Lauder’s leadership in the fight against breast cancer extends beyond the Company, however. In 1989, as a member of the Board of Overseers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, she successfully initiated a fund drive that raised in excess of $18 million to equip the first-ever breast and diagnostic center. Completed in 1992, the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center at Memorial Sloan-Kettering on East 64th Street in New York City serves as a worldwide model for offering coordinated supportive services under one roof for one disease, a concept which has been replicated in other institutions and for other diseases.

"In 1993, Mrs. Lauder established The Breast Cancer Research Foundation to address a crucial lack of funding for research. Under her chairmanship, the Foundation has grown to become the largest national organization dedicated exclusively to funding outstanding research relating to the causes, treatment and possible prevention of breast cancer. To date, the Foundation has raised more than $144 million, and in 2006 it awarded over $24.3 million to more than 115 researchers in the United States, Belgium, Canada, France, Israel, Latin America, Spain and the United Kingdom. Mrs. Lauder was recognized for her many contributions to breast cancer and the field of philanthropy in New York Magazine’s 2006 “The Influentials” issue." [1]

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  1. Evelyn H. Lauder, Estée Lauder, accessed November 7, 2007.