Among those distinguished entrepreneurs whom BusinessWeek has named to its Philanthropy Hall of Fame, there are two that we can lovingly call our own.
Estee Lauder and Paul Newman are distinguished both for the depth of their generosity and the creativity that they bring to their giving.
This entry will focus on Estee Lauder and Evelyn Lauder’s Pink Ribbon Campaign for Breast Cancer. Please note that Paul Newman’s philanthropy work has raised over $220 million for sick children and breast cancer research.
BusinessWeek actually named the Pink Ribbon Campaign itself and not its founders, but here I will profile Estee Lauder (nee Josephine Esther Menzer) and her daughter, Evelyn Lauder, as the creators and greatest proponents of the campaign.
An idea is nothing without a force behind it and the Lauder women should be honored accordingly.
Estee Lauder and Evelyn Lauder: Breast Cancer Awareness
Estee Lauder’s fame sources from her kitchen chemistry as mixing creams in her home is where she first learned the trade.
We know Estee Lauder (z”l, 2004) as the founder and CEO of Estee Lauder Cosmetics, but she was also a force for women’s health and welfare worldwide.
As much as the Lauder name is synonymous with cosmetic giants, the Lauder family’s philanthropy is just as large.
In 1992, Evelyn Lauder, Estee Lauder’s daughter in law and Senior Corporate Vice President of Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. created the Pink Ribbon Campaign to support breast cancer awareness. All company cosmetic and perfume counters were branded with the now ubiquitous pink ribbon and educational brochures were distributed with each purchase.
Fifteen years since the campaign’s launch, over 60 million pink ribbons have been distributed in 50 countries and the campaign has been called, “The most significant and influential campaign ever instituted to educate women worldwide about the need for early detection and treatment of breast cancer.”
The year 2000 marked the start of the Estee Lauder Companies’ Global Landmarks Illumination Initiative in which historical landmarks were lit in pink during the month of October to spotlight breast cancer worldwide. Participating landmarks have included the Empire State Building, Niagra Falls, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Tokyo Tower.
Highest Honors and Achievements
To list every honor that the Lauder women have earned would be to fill a chapter of a book. Here are their most distinguished honors.
- Estee Lauder Companies employs 20,000 people under 31 brands worldwide generating revenues of $5 billion annually
- Named as one of the “Outstanding Women in Business” in the United States (1967)
- Named one of Time Magazine’s “Twenty Most Influential Business Geniuses of the Century” (1998). She was the only woman on the list
- Received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest distinction an American civilian can receive, for her work on behalf of women worldwide (2004)
A note on Estee Lauder’s social entrepreneurship, in 1976 hers became the first cosmetics company in the world to introduce skin care products for men.
Read this profile for a strong summation of Estee Lauder’s achievements.
- Established the Breast Cancer Research Foundation raising $144 million. In 2006 alone, the foundation funded 115 breast cancer research projects worldwide, disbursing $24.3 million
- Spearheaded a campaign at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to create the first ever breast cancer diagnosis and research center, successfully raising $18 million. The Evelyn Lauder Breast Cancer Center, which “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”
- Named by New York Magazine as one of New York’s most influential people (2006)
See the Estee Lauder Companies’ website on corporate responsibility.
Estee Lauder Brands
To understand the reach of the Estee Lauder Companies, it is important to know their brands, which include: Aramis, Bobbi Brown, Burt’s Bees, Clinique, Cover Girl, Donna Karan, Kate Spade, Lancome, L’Oreal, MAC, Maybelline, Michael Kors, Origins, Prescriptives, Revlon, Sean Jean, and Tommy Hilfiger.
The Lauder Family’s Philanthropic Foundations
Among the Lauder family’s philanthropic foundations are:
- The Lauder Foundation
- The Leonard and Evelyn Lauder Foundation
- The Ronald S. Lauder Foundation
- Breast Cancer Research Fund
Ronald and Leonard Lauder are the sons of Estee and Joseph Lauder (nee Lauter). Also keep an eye on granddaughters Aerin and Jane Lauder (daughters of Ronald Lauder and Carole Jo Knopf), who have been named on various lists of billionaire children to watch.
Israel Boycott Campaign
The reason I link to the boycott is because I personally find the campaign a good source of information on which companies support Israel and make an effort to support them accordingly. 🙂
If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:
- “Why Orphan Diseases Should be a Jewish Priority (Guest Author Avichai Kremer of Prize for Life)”
- “Charles Bronfman Prize for Humanitarian Action: Seeking a Better World” (Jewish contributions to medicine and medical technologies)
- “Top Jewish Foundations and their Philanthropic Giving” (see the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation as one of the top Jewish givers)
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