Evelyn Lauder, 75, founder of pink ribbon for cancer awareness, died today from complications of non-genetic ovarian cancer, which had been diagnosed in 2007, at her home in New York City, the Estée Lauder Companies Inc. (ELC) announced today. Her family is said to have been at her bedside as she passed away.
Evelyn Lauder worked with Alexandra Penney, former editor of Self magazine, to create the breast cancer awareness campaign. Initially, the “small” campaign consisted simply of financing bows that were given to female customers who came to the makeup counters at department stores – the aim was to remind women about breast screening for cancer.
Eventually, the campaign evolved, there were fundraising products, until Congress designated October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The campaign raised over $330 million in donations, of which $50 million came from Estée Lauder and associates. The donations went to an organization Lauder had founded – “The Breast Cancer Research Foundation”.
Evelyn Lauder is survived by Leonard A. Lauder, Chairman Emeritus of the Estée Lauder Companies, William Lauder, Executive Chairman of the same company, Gary Lauder, Managing Director of Lauder Partners LLC, and five grandchildren.