Evelyn Lauder, Estée Lauder Executive and Breast Cancer Advocate, Passes Away

Evelyn Lauder, Estée Lauder Executive and Breast Cancer Advocate, Passes Away

Evelyn Lauder, daughter-in-law of cosmetics conglomerate Estée Lauder, passed away Saturday at her Manhattan home from complications of nongenetic ovarian cancer. She was 75 years old.

Lauder worked for more than 50 years at Estée Lauder in different roles and helped to develop its numerous lines of skin care, makeup, and fragrance -- most notably Clinique, which she named. Her most recent title at Estée Lauder was Senior Corporate Vice President.

Lauder's legacy lives on in her work as an activist for breast cancer awareness. Originally meant to be reminders for women to get regular breast exams and mammograms, the Pink Ribbon campaign was created in 1992 by Lauder and her friend Alexandra Penney, former editor-in-chief of Self Magazine. The ribbons have now become a symbol of breast cancer awareness and the campaign has grown into fundraising products and $50 million in donations from Estée Lauder and its partners.

Lauder herself was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1989 and eventually ovarian cancer in 2007, but those diagnoses didn't stop her from her duties at Estée Lauder and promoting breast cancer awareness all over the world. Her extensive work as a public advocate and fundraiser in the name of breast cancer awareness led to the establishment of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation in 1993, where she served as their visionary Founder and Chairman. The foundation received $330 million in donations, and it helped to fund the establishment of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City in 2009.

Lauder is survived by her husband, Leonard A. Lauder, who is now chairman emeritus of Estée Lauder, and her two sons.

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