businesswoman & philanthropist
Evelyn Hausner was a native of Vienna, Austria, who fled Nazi-occupied Europe with her family. She met and married Leonard Lauder shortly after starting her teaching career in Harlem schools, and joined Estée Lauder Companies—the business founded by her mother-in-law—where she ultimately became Senior Corporate Vice President, created the Clinique brand, and developed its product line.
Evelyn Lauder’s philanthropy and passion brought breast cancer and women’s health issues to the forefront of public awareness. She raised much of the $13.6 million to create the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and helped raise an additional $5 million for a clinical research endowment. Lauder also co-established The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which formalized the pink ribbon as a worldwide symbol for breast cancer awareness and has raised over $350 million to support breast cancer research across the globe.
Her life is best characterized by her own words: “My goal has always been to make it better for everybody for the next generation. In the best of Judeo-Christian tradition, I believe that one must leave the world a better place than you found it. That’s ultimately what I am about.”