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Estée Lauder started her own beauty company in 1946. Her business, which includes such product lines as Estée Lauder, MAC Cosmetics and Clinique, continues to thrive to this day.
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She resigned her post as president, but stayed on as the company's chairman of the board. Her oldest son Leonard took over running the family business. Lauder suffered a terrible loss in 1983 with the death of her beloved husband Joseph. In his honor,
she established the Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
Lauder shared her journey to high status and wealth in her 1985 autobiography Estée: A Success Story. Privately held for decades, Lauder's company went public in 1995. At the time, the business was valued at roughly $2 billion.
In her later life, Lauder devoted much of her time to her philanthropic efforts. She died in New York City on April 24, 2004. The company that she built still remains in the family. Her oldest son Leonard is the chairman emeritus of the Estée Lauder Companies; her younger son Ronald is the chairman of Clinique Laboratories, LLC, and her grandson William Lauder is the executive chairman of the Estée Lauder Companies.
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