Jewish Journal

Evelyn Lauder, breast cancer’s pink ribbon pioneer, dies at 75


November 14, 2011 | 10:10 am

Evelyn Lauder, who pioneered the pink ribbon as the symbol of breast cancer awareness, has died.

Lauder, the daughter-in-law of cosmetics queen Estee Lauder, died of ovarian cancer Saturday at her home in Manhattan. She was 75.

Lauder was married to Leonard Lauder, the oldest son of Estee and chairman emeritus of the makeup corporation. Ronald Lauder, another of Estee’s sons, is the current chairman of the company and the president of the World Jewish Congress.

Diagnosed with breast cancer in 1989, Evelyn Lauder became an advocate for breast cancer research. She created the pink ribbon campaign and founded the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which has raised some $350 million. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007.

Lauder and her parents fled Vienna in 1938 and spent two years in England before moving to New York. She met her husband on a blind date, according to The New York Times.

Lauder rose to senior corporate vice president and head of fragrance development worldwide in the Estee Lauder corporation.

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