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Evelyn Lauder, Breast Cancer Activist

Evelyn Lauder, the longtime breast cancer activist who helped to create the pink ribbon as the symbol of the fight against the disease, died November 12 at the age of 75. Born in Vienna, Austria in 1936, she came to the United States as a young child when her parents fled from the Nazis. The family settled in New York where she met her future husband, Leonard Lauder, whose parents owned a small cosmetics firm. She eventually went to work with at her mother-in-law Estee Lauder's company which today has revenues of nearly $2.5 billion. During her long career Evelyn was instrumental in developing and marketing new products, including Clinique. She was also a leading philanthropist and became very involved in the fight against breast cancer. Along with her friend, editor Alexandra Penney, they created the idea of a pink ribbon as a symbol for breast cancer. In 1993 she founded the Breast Cancer Research Foundation which has raised more than $350 million and supports researchers around the world. Mrs. Lauder was also an avid gardener and photographer, as well as the author of several books including In Great Tate: Fresh Simple Reasons for Eating and Living.