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Martha Stewart is an American media mogul best known for her television show and magazine, Martha Stewart Living.
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Martha Stewart was born on August 3, 1941, in Jersey City, New Jersey. Stewart rose to prominence as the author of books on cooking, entertaining and decorating. She then expanded her brand to include a magazine and television program, serving as CEO of Martha Stewart Omnimedia. Stewart resigned her post in 2002, following charges of insider trading of which she was subsequently convicted.
"I invented 'It's a good thing' before you were even born."
"I catnap now and then, but I think while I nap, so it's not a waste of time."
Lifestyle guru and businesswoman Martha Stewart was born Martha Kostyra, on August 3, 1941, in New Jersey. The second of six children, Stewart grew up in Nutley, New Jersey, a working-class community near New York City. She worked as a model from the age of 13, appearing in fashion shows as well as television and print advertisements. She attended Barnard College in Manhattan, where she earned a degree in European and architectural history in 1962. While at Barnard, she met Andy Stewart, a Yale law student, and the two married in 1961. Six years later, after the birth of their daughter, Alexis, Stewart went to work as a stockbroker for the boutique firm of Monness, Williams, and Sidel. She worked on Wall Street until 1972, when the family moved to Westport, Connecticut.
After the Stewarts restored the 19th century farmhouse they had bought, Martha decided to focus her energy on gourmet cooking, having trained herself by reading Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She started a catering business in the late 1970s, and soon became known for her gourmet menus and unique, creative presentation. Within a decade, Martha Stewart, Inc., had grown into a $1 million business serving a number of corporate and celebrity clients.
Stewart expanded into the world of publishing with her first book, Entertaining, which became a bestseller and was followed in quick succession by such publications as Martha Stewart's Quick Cook Menus, Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvres, Martha Stewart's Christmas and Martha Stewart's Wedding Planner. Her newfound fame took its toll on her personal life, as her marriage to Andy Stewart ended in divorce in 1990, after a bitter three-year separation.
In 1991, Martha Stewart, Inc., became Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc., with the release of her magazine, Martha Stewart Living. Stewart's lifestyle empire soon grew to include two magazines, a checkout-size recipe publication, a popular cable television show, a syndicated newspaper column, a series of how-to books, a radio show, an Internet site and $763 million in annual retail sales.
On October 19, 1999, America's most famous homemaker returned to Wall Street to see her company through its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. At the end of the day, the price of each of 72 million shares in Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. had jumped more than 95 percent and raised almost $130 million. Stewart herself controls 96 percent of the voting shares in her company and is worth $1.2 billion.
In June 2002, Stewart again made financial headlines, this time for rumors of insider trading.
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