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About Leonard Lauder
Leonard A. Lauder (born March 19, 1933) is an American businessman. He is the chairman emeritus of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. He was chief executive until 1999. Today Estée Lauder operates several brands in the cosmetics industry including Estée Lauder, Clinique, MAC Cosmetics, Aveda, Bobbi Brown and La Mer. In April 2013, he donated his collection of 78 pieces of Cubist painting, consisting of 33 pieces by Pablo Picasso, 17 by Georges Braque, 14 by Fernand Léger, and 14 by Juan Gris, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Contents [show] Biography
Leonard Lauder is the son of Joseph and Estée Lauder and the older brother of Ronald Lauder. He married Evelyn Hausner in July 1959. They had two sons: William, executive chairman of the Estée Lauder Companies, and Gary, managing director of Lauder Partners LLC. He is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and he also studied at Columbia University's Graduate School of Business before serving as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. He formally joined Estée Lauder in 1958 when he was 25. Leonard Lauder gained notoriety in 2001 for creating the Lipstick index, a since discredited economic indicator. Philanthropy
Arts and culture Leonard Lauder is a major art collector (he began by buying Art Deco postcards when he was six), but his particular focus, rather than on American artists, is on works by the Cubist masters Picasso, Braque, Gris, and Léger. He also collects Klimt. Much of his art comes from some of the world’s most celebrated collections, including those of Gertrude Stein, the Swiss banker Raoul La Roche, and the British art historian Douglas Cooper. In autumn, 2012, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston opened an exhibition of 700 of his postcards, a tiny part of the promised gift he has made to the museum of 120,000 postcards:"The Postcard Age: Selections from the Leonard A. Lauder Collection." In an interview in The New Yorker, Lauder explained how postcards turned him into a collector, and how these "mini-masterpieces" remained his lifelong pursuit to the point where his late wife, Evelyn, called the collection his "mistress." Lauder's interest in postcards led him to be acquainted with one of the owners of the Gotham Book Mart, a well-known Manhattan bookstore, and he sought to help the Gotham reestablish its presence in the city when the owner had sold its longtime building and needed a new space. Lauder bought a building at 16 East 46th Street along with a partner, letting the building's storefront space to the Gotham. Later, the Gotham fell behind on rents, eventually resulting in Lauder and his partner to file for eviction. In a much-publicised closure of the renowned bookstore, the city marshall later auctioned the store's inventory, which was bought in a lot by Lauder and his partner to some protest from many other independent book sellers and collectors who were present at the proceedings and hoping to purchase some of the bibliophilic treasures.
Emblem of The Estee Lauder Comp. Inc. Lauder has long been a major benefactor of the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 1971, he joined the museum's acquisitions board and in 1977, by then president of his family's business, he became a Whitney trustee. He became president in 1990 and has been chairman since 1994. He has donated both money and many works of art to the Whitney, and is the museum's most prolific fundraiser. His 2008 donation to it of $131 million is the largest in the museum's history. Through the Leonard and Evelyn Lauder Fund, he and his wife have also sponsored several exhibitions at the Whitney. The fifth floor permanent collection galleries are named for the couple. In 1998, he told a reporter for the New York Times that his "dream job" was to be the Whitney Museum's director. Most recently Lauder gave $131 million for the Whitney's endowment. A long-time supporter of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, Lauder led the creation of a research center for Modern art at the museum, which he helped support through a $22 million endowment made alongside museum trustees and other benefactors. In April 2013, he donated his collection of 78 pieces of Cubist art, consisting of 33 pieces by Pablo Picasso, 17 by Georges Braque, 14 by Fernand Léger, and 14 by Juan Gris to the museum; together, they are valued at more than one billion dollars. It has been described by William Acquavella, of Acquavella Galleries, as "without doubt the most important collection any private person has put together in many, many years,” Social causes Lauder 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. Along with his wife, Evelyn, he helped create the Evelyn H Lauder Breast Center at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.