NEW YORK – Evelyn Lauder, a refugee from the Nazis who lived to be deemed
“breast cancer’s pink ribbon pioneer,” died Saturday at age 75.
died from nongenetic ovarian cancer. Her funeral service was held Monday morning
at Central Synagogue in Manhattan.
Lauder was married to Leonard Lauder,
oldest son of Estee Lauder and chairman emeritus of the Estee Lauder makeup
Lauder, diagnosed with breast cancer in 1989, was a powerful
advocate of women’s health. She started the Pink Ribbon campaign as an
international symbol of breast health. Lauder founded the Breast Cancer Research
Foundation (www.bcrfcure.org) in 1993, which has raised upwards of $350
In 2007 she received a diagnosis of ovarian cancer, which
developed independently of her breast cancer, representatives from Estee Lauder
Born Evelyn Hausner in Vienna in 1936, Lauder’s family left Austria
in 1938, using their household silver to get visas to Belgium.
family reached England, her mother was sent to an internment camp on the Isle of
Man, and she was placed in a nursery. The family arrived in New York in
Lauder met her husbandto- be on a blind date during her freshman
year at Hunter College.
“He was the first person who took me out to
dinner in a restaurant,” she told The New York Times. They married four years
later at the Plaza Hotel.
Lauder eventually became senior corporate vice
president and head of fragrance development worldwide in the Estee Lauder
In addition, Lauder was a photographer, whose work is in
public and private collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the
Brooklyn Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.
authored two books featuring her photography and one featuring
Lauder’s New York Times obituary referenced her status as the
daughter-in-law of a powerful cosmetics icon.
Lauder frequently told the
story of how, early in her marriage, she returned to the couple’s apartment to
find that her formidable mother-in-law, Estée, had rearranged the couple’s
furniture in order to have it be more to her own liking.