Evelyn Lauder, Pink Ribbon Creator, Dead at 75
The woman who created the pink ribbon that came to symbolize the worldwide fight against breast cancer has died at the age of 75.
Evelyn Lauder, senior corporate vice president at the cosmetics empire founded by her mother-in-law, Estee Lauder, knew the power of color.
And pink was hers.
At first, she and her husband Leonard largely financed the symbol that she created in 1992 with former Self Magazine editor-in-chief Alexandra Penney, according to the Associated Press.
Little pink bows handed to women at department store makeup counters -- to remind them to get their annual breast exams -- led to a multimillion dollar campaign funded by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, including some $50 million from the Lauders.
The money that was raised helped found the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Cancer Center at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York in 2009.
Lauder was born Evelyn Hausner in 1936 in Vienna, Austria. Her parents took their baby and fled the flames of Nazi-occupied Europe, settling in the safety of the United States. The young immigrant attended public school in New York City and then began to attend CUNY's Hunter College, when she met her husband, Estee Lauder's elder son. They married in 1959.
Evelyn Lauder had a passion for photography, for food and for writing, and is the author of the book, “In Great Taste: Fresh, Simple Recipes for Eating and Living Well.”
She died on Saturday at her New York City home, from complications of non-genetic ovarian cancer, diagnosed in 2007.
Lauder is survived by her husband Leonard, who is now chairman emeritus of Estee Lauder. Her son William is executive chairman of the firm, and second son Gary is managing director of Lauder Partners LLC, a technology investment firm.