The Lauder Family

The Est\u00E9e Lauder Companies

The Lauder Family

Today, Estée Lauder’s children and grandchildren are active and involved in the thriving house of beauty that she so carefully built over many decades. But for them, it is much more than a family business, it is a way of life.

Lauder Family Bios

  • Estée Lauder Founder, Estée Lauder Cosmetics Co.

    A visionary entrepreneur who believed all women could be beautiful, Estée Lauder instinctively understood the power of makeup. Her dedication to offer women the highest-quality cosmetics transformed the fledgling business she started in 1946 with four products into today’s global leader in prestige beauty.
     
    Born Josephine Esther Mentzer to immigrant parents in Queens, N.Y., Mrs. Lauder got her start selling skin care products developed by her uncle, a chemist, in local beauty salons and hotels. She landed her first major order from Saks Fifth Avenue after dozens of women asked for them. She believed in the power of word of mouth and that sampling products sealed a sale. She acted as a one-woman research department, pioneered personalized beauty consultations and Gift with Purchase promotions.
     
    Mrs. Lauder also developed some of the most successful fragrances of all time, including Youth Dew, Aramis and Beautiful. Under her watch, five more innovative brands were launched – Aramis, Clinique, Prescriptives, Lab Series Skincare for Men and Origins – backed by iconic advertising campaigns and revolutionary marketing strategies.
     
    She was the recipient of many prestigious honors, including France’s Legion of Honor in 1978 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004. The American Society of Perfumers gave her its first Living Legend award. She traveled and entertained extensively and socialized with world leaders, Hollywood royalty and celebrities. She had homes in Manhattan, Long Island, Palm Beach, the south of France and London, and from each residence she drew inspiration.
     
    When she retired in 1995, her greatest wish was fulfilled – having her children and grandchildren immersed in the family business. “Living the American dream has been intense, difficult work, but I couldn’t have hoped for a more satisfying life,” she wrote in her 1985 biography, “Estée, A Success Story.”  “I believe that potential is unlimited – success depends on daring to act on dreams.”

    Mrs. Lauder died in 2004 at age 97.

    Joseph Lauder Co-founder, Estée Lauder Cosmetics Co.

    Joseph Lauder was a co-founder of the Company in 1946 with his wife, Estée Lauder, and at the time they were the only employees. Mr. Lauder’s background had been in silks, buttons and textiles.
     
    Mr. Lauder was a native New Yorker, born on the Lower East Side, and met Josephine Esther Mentzer in Westchester, near where her parents had a summer home. They married for the first time in 1930. They divorced in 1939, then remarried in 1943.
     
    In the early days of the Company they developed skin care creams using a restaurant stove and hand delivered the products to their customers.  As the Company grew, Mr. Lauder became in charge of the manufacturing operations and finances, while Estée oversaw product development, sales and marketing.
     
    The Lauders travelled around the world for business and to socialize with friends that included artists, world leaders, actors and social figures, such as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.  The couple was also extremely philanthropic and he was vice president of the family’s charitable organization, The Lauder Foundation.  Mr. Lauder loved opera and the fine arts and served on the board of the Brooklyn College of Pharmacy.
     
    In 1983, the year he passed away, The Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management & International Studies at the University of Pennsylvania was created in Mr. Lauder’s honor by his sons, Leonard and Ronald.

    Leonard A. Lauder Chairman Emeritus, The Estée Lauder Companies

    Leonard A. Lauder is Chairman Emeritus of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. and is currently the senior member of its Board of Directors. Founded in 1946, the Company is one of the world's leading manufacturers and marketers of quality skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products, with annual sales of $10.2 billion. Its products are sold in over 150 countries and territories across 30 well-recognized brand names.

    A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Mr. Lauder also studied at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business and served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. He formally joined Estée Lauder in 1958, when it had annual sales of $800,000. Mr. Lauder consistently developed and implemented innovative sales and marketing programs and increased the Company’s sales and profits. He created its first research and development laboratory and brought in professional management on every level. He also initiated The Estée Lauder Companies’ international expansion, which began in 1960 with the opening of the Estée Lauder account at Harrods in London.

    Mr. Lauder served as President of The Estée Lauder Companies from 1972 to 1995 and as Chief Executive Officer from 1982 to 1999. He added the title of Chairman in 1995 and served as Chairman of The Estée Lauder Companies through June 2009. Under his leadership, the Company launched many brands, including Aramis, Clinique, Lab Series Skincare for Men and Origins. Beginning in the mid-1990s, the company also began expanding through acquisitions, including Aveda, Bobbi Brown, Jo Malone, La Mer and M•A•C.​

    In addition to his activities with The Estée Lauder Companies, Mr. Lauder is extremely involved in the worlds of education, art, politics and philanthropy. He is a charter trustee of the University of Pennsylvania and a founding member of the board of governors of its Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies​​. Mr. Lauder became a trustee of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City in 1977 and currently serves as its Chairman Emeritus. He is Co-Founder and Chairman of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a trustee of The Aspen Institute, Chairman of The Aspen Institute International Committee, and a member of the President’s Council of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital.  Mr. Lauder served on the Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations under President Ronald Reagan.  Included among his honors, he was presented with the National Order of Merit by the French Government, named an Officier de la Légion d’Honneur by France and recognized by The United States Navy Supply Corps Foundation with its Distinguished Alumni Award. Most recently, the Lauder Family received the esteemed 2011 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy in recognition of their longstanding commitment to philanthropy and public service.

    Mr. Lauder has two sons; William, Executive Chairman of The Estée Lauder Companies, and Gary, Managing Partner, Lauder Partners LLC, and five grandchildren.

    Evelyn H. Lauder Senior Corporate Vice President, The Estée Lauder Companies

    Evelyn H. Lauder (1936-2011) was the Senior Corporate Vice President and Head of Fragrance Development Worldwide for the Estée Lauder Companies Inc.  During her more than 50 years with the Company, she held many positions while contributing her invaluable insights about fashion trends, consumers' changing needs, and new approaches to the development of innovative skin care, makeup and fragrance products. She also helped name the Clinique brand. As Head of Fragrance Development Worldwide for the Estée Lauder Companies, she led the development of the Company’s most globally successful fragrances, including the best-selling Beautiful and Pleasures.  

    Mrs. Lauder was perhaps best known to the public for her work in bringing global awareness to women’s health. Her personal experience with early stage breast cancer in 1987, led her in 1992, to co-create, with Alexandra Penney of SELF magazine, the now ubiquitous Pink Ribbon, recognized as the worldwide symbol of breast health. In conjunction, Mrs. Lauder launched the Estée Lauder Companies Breast Cancer Awareness (BCA) Campaign (www.bcacampaign.com). To date, the BCA Campaign has distributed more than 115 million Pink Ribbons and informational brochures worldwide.  In 2000, Mrs. Lauder and the BCA Campaign launched its annual “Global Landmarks Illumination Initiative,” whereby historic landmarks are illuminated in pink lights during the month of October to focus global attention on breast health.  In 2010, the BCA Campaign illuminated 38 global historic landmarks within a 24-hour timeframe and achieved the first-ever Guinness World Record for “Most Landmarks Illuminated for a Cause in 24 Hours.” Included among the 38 iconic landmarks were the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel in India, the Tokyo Tower in Japan, the Hotel Majestic in France, and the Empire State Building in New York City.  
     
    Mrs. Lauder was also Chairman of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), which she founded in 1993. She was passionately committed to preventing breast cancer and finding a cure in her lifetime by funding the most innovative clinical and translational research at leading medical centers worldwide. To date, BCRF has raised over $350 million and currently supports 186 researchers across the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Australia. 
     
    In 1989, Mrs. Lauder initiated the fundraising drive that established the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. As the first breast and diagnostic center, it became a model for similar facilities around the world.  The expanded Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center opened in September 2009 and is three times the size of its predecessor. It provides the most up-to-date breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, and outpatient treatment services and 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.
     
    Mrs. Lauder’s achievements have garnered global recognition. In 2002, she received France’s Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur. In June 2007, Mrs. Lauder received the prestigious 2007 Partners in Progress Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology for her efforts to increase public awareness about cancer. In 1999 and 2007, she was featured in Crain’s New York Business magazine as one of New York’s 100 Most Influential Women in Business, and in 2008 she was nominated to the International Best Dressed List. In 2010, Mrs. Lauder received the Fashion Group International Humanitarian Award in recognition for her work with BCRF and her tireless efforts toward eradicating breast cancer. In October 2011, the Lauder family received the prestigious Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy for their longstanding commitment to philanthropy and public service.  
     
    Mrs. Lauder was a dedicated photographer, whose art has been represented in many public and private collections, including The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and leading medical facilities worldwide. She’s had two photography books published of her own work, The Seasons Observed and, An Eye for Beauty. Her photographs have been exhibited internationally, including the Pace/MacGill Gallery in New York City, Berggruen Gallery in San Francisco, Duran Exposiciones de Arte in Madrid, The Red Gate Gallery in Beijing and at the Galerie des Galeries at the Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Her most recent photography exhibition “Salon Beauties” opened at the Gagosian Gallery in London on September 29, 2011. In September 2006, Mrs. Lauder published her first cookbook, In Great Taste: Fresh, Simple Recipes for Eating and Living Well. All of Mrs. Lauder’s royalties from her books and exhibitions are donated to BCRF.
      
    Evelyn Lauder passed away from complications of non-genetic ovarian cancer on November 12th, 2011. She is survived by her husband Leonard A. Lauder, Chairman Emeritus of the Estée Lauder Companies; her son William, Executive Chairman of the Estée Lauder Companies; her son Gary, Managing Director of Lauder Partners LLC and his wife Laura, General Partner of Lauder Partners; and her five grandchildren.

    Read More

    Ronald S. Lauder Chairman, Clinique Laboratories, LLC

    Ronald. Lauder is the younger son of Estée and Joseph Lauder and, like his older brother, Leonard, learned the family business at the dinner table. He formally joined the company in 1964 after graduating from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, beginning his career in the Belgium factory.   His executive roles began when he became General Manager of Clinique Laboratories in 1985, followed by Chairman in 1995.  Mr. Lauder was instrumental in the creation of Prescriptives and served as Chairman of Estee Lauder International from 1992 to 2002.  He also served as a member of the Board of Directors from 1968 to 1986 and again from 1998 to July 2009.  In 1983, he took a leave from the company to serve in the Pentagon as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Defense for European and NATO Affairs.  In 1986 he was named U.S. Ambassador to Austria, where he served until 1987.

    A noted philanthropist and active leader in many civic, cultural and Jewish causes, Mr. Lauder is Chairman of the Jewish National Fund and President of the World Jewish Congress.  Upon his return to the U.S. from Austria in 1987, he established The Ronald S. Lauder Foundation, which is dedicated to rebuilding Jewish communities in Central and Eastern Europe that were devastated by the Holocaust, with an emphasis on Jewish schools, camps and community centers.

    Mr. Lauder is a renowned art collector and over the years has put together one of the world’s greatest private collections.  In 2001 he founded The Neue Galerie Museum for German and Austrian Art in Manhattan, which features works from the early 20th century.   He served as Chairman of the Museum of Modern Art, one of the world’s leading art institutions, from 1995 until 2005 and now fills the role of Honorary Chairman of the Museum. Among many other commitments, he is a charter trustee of the University of Pennsylvania, where he co-founded the Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies with his brother Leonard in 1983.

    Mr. Lauder is Chairman of Central European Media Enterprises, Ltd., a leading television broadcast company in Central Eastern Europe which he founded in 1994.  He is also the founder and Chairman of RWL Water Group, with focus on water, wastewater and energy recovery.  At the same time, Ronald Lauder continues his many philanthropic and cultural endeavors in New York and throughout the world.

    William P. Lauder Executive Chairman, The Estée Lauder Companies

    William P. Lauder is the son of Leonard Lauder and the grandson of Estée Lauder. Mr. Lauder became Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Directors in July 2009. He was Chief Executive Officer from July 2004 through June 2009. During his five-year tenure as chief executive, he expanded the Company’s international presence and distribution channels and greatly strengthened the brand portfolio.
     
    He joined the Company in 1986 as Regional Marketing Director of Clinique U.S.A. in the New York metro area. In 1990 he led the development of the Origins brand and its innovative store-within-a store concept. He subsequently was promoted to several senior leadership positions; he led the worldwide businesses for Clinique and Origins and oversaw the Company’s free-standing stores and Internet business. In 2002 he became Chief Operating Officer, with oversight of all the Company’s global operations, as well as nine specialty brands and the retail business.
     
    Under his leadership, Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion became the best-selling prestige skin care product in U.S. department stores and Clinique launched its first anti-aging product.
     
    Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Lauder completed Macy’s Executive Training Program in New York City and was Associate Merchandising Manager of the New York Division/Dallas store when it opened in 1985.
     
    He is a member of the Boards of Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania and The Trinity School in New York City, his alma maters.  He is also a member of the Lauder Institute Board of Governors and the Boards of Directors of The Fresh Air Fund, the 92nd Street Y, the Partnership for New York City, GLG Partners Inc. and the Advisory Board of Zelnick Media.  In 2012, Mr. Lauder received a lecturer appointment to the faculty of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he teaches “Decision Making in the Leadership Chair”, a course he designed for second-year MBA students.

    Aerin Lauder Style and Image Director, Estée Lauder

    ‪As the modern-day ambassador of the Estée Lauder brand, Aerin Lauder shares her grandmother’s passion for beauty, fashion and style. Inspired by Estée Lauder’s entrepreneurial spirit, she has leveraged her own modern view on beauty and style to bring a youthful energy to the Company’s flagship brand.‬

    ‪Ms. Lauder serves as Estée Lauder’s Style and Image Director, global ambassador and spokesperson, and on the Company’s Board of Directors, which she joined in 2004.‬
    ‪ ‬
    ‪Ms. Lauder has worked at the Estée Lauder brand since 1995. In July 2004, she was named Senior Vice President, Creative Director, overseeing all creative efforts, including advertising, imagery, packaging, store design and visual merchandising. She was instrumental in signing Tom Pecheux as Creative Makeup Director and naming the brand’s first global models from China, France and Puerto Rico. ‬
    ‪ ‬
    ‪In August 2007, Ms. Lauder launched her own fragrance, Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia. Two more high-end scents followed, including Private Collection Jasmine White Moss, which was created from an unfinished formula started by Estée Lauder that had been in a vault for 20 years. Ms. Lauder was featured in the Private Collection campaigns, the first time a member of the Lauder family had appeared in an advertisement.‬
    ‪ ‬
    ‪Ms. Lauder joined the Company in 1992 as part of the Prescriptives marketing team. She serves on the Education Committee for the Board of Trustees at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is a member of the International Committee of the Museum of Modern Art. She is also actively involved in the Neue Gallerie, founded by her father, Ronald Lauder, in 2001. ‬

    Jane Lauder Global President/General Manager, Origins and Ojon

    Ms. Lauder has been Global President and General Manager of the Company’s Origins and Ojon brands since July 2010; she initially joined Origins in 2008 as Senior Vice President/General Manager. She added Ojon to her responsibilities in March 2010.  Under her leadership, the Origins brand has made a remarkable turnaround, with a strategic focus to create products that are “Powered by Nature. Proven by Science.” She is known for her innovative marketing sense, strong management skills and accomplished track record with many of the brands in the Company’s portfolio.
     
    She has been a member of the Board of Directors since July 2009, when she replaced her father, Ronald Lauder, who retired from the board.
     
    Ms. Lauder joined the Company in 1996 with Clinique, starting as an Account Executive for Lord & Taylor and went on to hold roles of increasing responsibility with the brand. In 2001 she became Vice President of Marketing for Stila, then two years later joined BeautyBank, where she spearheaded the creation and launch of American Beauty and its skin care and cosmetics lines, and Flirt!, a makeup brand. She returned to Clinique in 2006 as Senior Vice President, Global Product Marketing.
     
    Before joining the Company, Ms. Lauder worked at the advertising firm Hal Riney & Partners. She graduated from Stanford University.