Martha Stewart

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Template:Infobox Celebrity Martha Stewart (born August 3, 1941) is a business magnate, entrepreneur, and home-making advocate. She was convicted of lying to investigators in the ImClone scandal and spent five months in prison.

Stewart has built a business empire centered around the domestic arts, and has established a strong reputation for taste and style in these domains with her consumer base. Her business success and media visibility have elevated her to iconic status within these markets.

Stewart currently hosts Martha, and recently starred in The Apprentice: Martha Stewart. Most of her professional attention, since her release from prison, has been focused on reviving the fortunes of her business, which suffered due to her litigation and incarceration.



Born Martha Helen Kostyra in Jersey City, New Jersey, USA, she was the first daughter of Eddie and Martha Kostyra. She was born to a large middle class family of Polish-American heritage, with five other brothers and sisters. She was raised in Nutley, New Jersey.

Instilled with a strong work ethic promoted by her parents, Stewart mastered traits that many would consider common household chores. These traits however proved to be the keystone of her success later in life. Stewart's mother taught her how to cook and sew. Later, she learned the art of canning and preserving when she visited her grandparents' home in Buffalo, New York. Her father Eddie had a passion for gardening and passed on all of his knowledge and expertise to his daughter.

Stewart also excelled in school. Her interest in books and reading did not prevent her from being active in extracurricular activities, such as the school newspaper and the Art Club. During this time, Stewart began a modelling career. She was hired and appeared in several TV commercials and magazines. Finishing with straight A’s, she was awarded a partial scholarship to Barnard College in New York City. It was around this time that she married Andy Stewart. After marrying him, Stewart temporarily left Barnard, and continued a successful modeling career, while her husband finished his law degree at Yale Law School. She would later return to Barnard a year later, and graduated with a major in History and Architectural History. In 1965 her daughter, Alexis Stewart was born.

At this time, Stewart began to hone and develop her business skills. In 1967, she became a stockbroker. She was very successful until she left the profession in 1973, in order to focus more time on her daughter and restoring her new home in Connecticut. It has been suggested that a scandal involving the furniture company Levitz may have contributed to her decision to leave the firm of Monness, Horstman, Williams & Sidel. Several principals at the firm allegedly received kickbacks from Levitz for selling stock in the financially troubled company.

Stewart and her husband moved to Westport, Connecticut, where they decided to settle down and make a home for their family. They purchased and undertook a massive restoration of the 1805 farmhouse, Turkey Hill, that would later become the model for the set of the Martha Stewart Living television program. Stewart and her husband undertook the entire venture by themselves. During the project, Martha’s passion for restoring and decorating became apparent. Stewart's mother now occupies Turkey Hill, while Stewart currently lives at her new home in Bedford, New York.

In 1976 Stewart started a catering business in her basement with a friend, and later business partner, from college. The venture quickly became very successful, and when her partner soured on working with Stewart, who was becoming increasingly perfectionist, Stewart bought her portion of the business. Stewart opened a retail store, where she sold her home entertainment kits.

From there, word spread of her skills and business grew rapidly. Shortly thereafter, Martha received a publishing deal to write a book on catering. She co-authored a best-selling book, Entertaining, with long-time fashion maven Elizabeth Hawes.

Rise to fame and career

Martha Stewart with mother Martha Kostyra and niece Sophie Herbert on the set of Martha Stewart Living

Entertaining quickly became a success. Soon thereafter she produced dozens of books, newspaper columns, and other pieces on homemaking, and made several television appearances on programs such as The Oprah Winfrey Show. She eventually became the spokesperson for K-Mart, specifically for the home department. She divorced her husband in 1990; Stewart's successful book, Weddings, was released that same year.

For much of the 1980s, she was a contributing editor to Family Circle magazine before starting her own magazine, Martha Stewart Living, which attained a circulation of 1.3 million. In 1993, she began a weekly half-hour homemaking program based on her magazine, which has been her most successful venture to date.

On the cover of their May 1995 issue, New York Magazine declared her as “the definitive American woman of our time.”

In 1997 the various television, print, and online ventures related to the Martha Stewart brand were consolidated into a new company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, to allow Stewart and her business partners greater control over the business activities. The company went public in 2000, with Stewart as the majority shareholder.

Stewart also became a regular contributor to CBS' The Early Show, although she stopped appearing on the show in mid-2002, when her stock-fraud case was beginning.

ImClone Scandal

Main article: Martha Stewart (ImClone)

Beginning in 2002, Stewart's career was shaken by a scandal involving the sale of her shares in pharmaceutical company ImClone, days before its application for a new drug was denied. She was eventually convicted of lying to investigators, but not insider trading, and was sentenced to prison in 2004. She was released on March 4, 2005.


As of 2005, Stewart is once again involved in her Martha Stewart Living family of magazines. Offerings of her products at Kmart have been expanded to include a new line of home furnishings, although Sears has announced that it is unlikely that the Martha Stewart Everyday merchandise line despite it's merger with Kmart. The company's mass market interior paint line is currently sold at larger Sears stores. However, the most heavily promoted aspect of her attempted comeback is television. She is again the host of a daytime show, Martha and appeared in an adapted version of The Apprentice (called The Apprentice: Martha Stewart). Both shows premiered in September 2005, and both were produced by Mark Burnett. Her prime time Apprentice spin-off received poor ratings, which some attribute to popular dislike for the opportunistic tone of the network's massive promotional campaign and to NBC's slotting the show up against the hit drama Lost. The Apprentice: Martha Stewart was not renewed for a second season. In October 2005, Stewart also released a new book called The Martha Rules on starting and managing a new business. She also is a regular contributor of cooking, gardening, and crafts segments on NBC's The Today Show. Stewart's daily talk show was nominated in 6 categories for the 33rd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards in 2006, including Best Host and Best Show.

In October 2005, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia launched a line of houses that will carry her name to be built by KB Homes initially in Cary, North Carolina and various other locations nationwide. The first homes, which will be inspired by Stewart's homes in New York and Maine, will be completed in 2006. Ultimately 650 homes are planned with prices from low $200,000 to mid-$400,000s.

In addition to television and merchandising, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia launched a 24-hour satellite radio network with Sirius in November 2005, on which Stewart currently hosts a weekly call-in show.




News stories

See also

External links


Template:MSLOda:Martha Stewart de:Martha Stewart fr:Martha Stewart id:Martha Stewart it:Martha Stewart ja:マーサ・スチュワート pl:Martha Stewart

External Links

Martha Stewart - Wikipedia

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "/Copyrights".

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