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Martha Stewart

Born in 1941, in New Jersey, Martha Stewart turned her start-up catering business into a publishing, television, online and retail empire. She combined homemaking with business savvy and connected women everywhere with the finer things in life.

Martha Stewart
Martha Stewart

Stewart began modeling at 13 and later attended Barnard College in Manhattan where she studied European and architectural history. She married a stockbroker named Andy Stewart in 1962 and continued to model until she started her family six years later.

Stewart worked as a stockbroker on Wall Street in the 1960's while her husband pursued a career in publishing. In the early 70's, Stewart and her husband restored a 19th century Connecticut farmhouse which would later serve as the backdrop for her television program Martha Stewart Living. Stewart taught herself gourmet cooking from Julia Child's best-selling cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She started a catering business from home and turned it into a million dollar company within ten years.

Stewart wrote her first book, Entertaining, in 1982. The book became a best-seller and was known for its beautiful art directed illustration. Stewart then published books about weddings, pies, hors d'oeuvres, and gardening, all with the same signature art-like illustration and design. Stewart had given homemaking a fashionable modern update.

While her career was taking off, she endured a very bitter three-year separation from her husband that was followed by a divorce. Her critics claimed that she set the bar too high and lived out of touch with what everyday women faced. Through it all, Stewart remained poised with a charm and a smile that her fans would come to know and love her for.

In 1990, Stewart launched Martha Stewart Living Magazine. The success of the magazine landed her appearances on television programs and a series of holiday specials. While her food, crafts and gardening projects were sometimes complex and sophisticated, her delivery was soft and methodic. Her slow and patient style connected with her audience.

In 1993, her television show Martha Stewart Living started as a weekly half-hour program and then grew to running an hour each weekday. Her identity had become a brand that stood for top quality and sophistication. In 1997, Stewart consolidated all of her business interests into Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia which enjoyed a very successful public opening on the stock market in 1999.

In 2002, Stewart joined the Board of Directors of the New York Stock Exchange. Later she resigned that position when she faced charges of insider trading. After months of investigating and legal woes, Stewart was found guilty of misleading federal investigators and obstructing an investigation. Her company's stock and the sales of her magazine plummeted. Her television show was cancelled. Stewart paid a $30,000 fine and served a five month sentence in minimum security prison and through electronic monitoring in her home.

Although highly publicized, Stewart endured her fall from grace by staying true to what made her a famous woman. She remained poised, and never stopped working. Within months of her "release" from home arrest, she launched two television programs, published books, and within one year, her company was turning a profit again. She has shown that when a woman puts her mind to it, she can accomplish anything.

There is a secret you don't know …

Besides the factual Martha Stewart biography presented above there is a little secret no one has learned of until now. And that secret is that Martha has recently spent time training in the Himalayan Mountains to thwart zombies using icy stares and attack redneck ninja fembots using just her toe knuckle hair.


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