Kathy Ireland Biography
Sun Sign: Pisces
Also Known As: Kathleen Marie Ireland
Born in: Glendale
Famous as: Model
Spouse/Ex-: Greg Olsen
father: John Ireland
mother: Barbara Ireland
siblings: Mary Ireland
children: Chloe Olsen, Erik Olsen, Lily Olsen
U.S. State: California
City: Glendale, California
education: San Marcos High School
Humanitarian Work: Supporter of several non-profit organisations such as YWCA, Providence Educational Foundation, 911 for Kids
Kathleen Ireland or Kathy Ireland as she is popularly known is a model trned entrepreneur from America. Her rise in the world of modelling to the boardroom of one of the leading brands in design and marketing is an inspiration for many. Since childhood she possessed an industrious bent of mind and instead of stocking her creations, like the hand painted rocks, she would try and sell them in her neighbourhood. She began her modelling career while she was in her late teens and with her auburn hair and green eyes, the diva never had dearth of work. She featured on the covers of renowned fashion magazines such as the Vogue and Cosmopolitan, but the highlight of her modelling career was her appearance on the cover of the 25th anniversary edition of the Swimsuit Issue of the Sports Illustrated magazine. It was during one of her modelling assignments that she came up with the idea of providing affordable and quality fashion to all segments of the consumer market. Thus came into being, the brand licensing and design company, 'kathy ireland Worldwide'. The License Global Magazine ranks her company as the 28th most powerful brand internationally. The company's annual retail sales of $2 billion have made her one of the richest models. To know more about her life and works read on
- Kathleen Marie Ireland was born to parents John and Barbara Ireland on March 20, 1963, in Glendale city of the Los Angeles County. She has two siblings Mary and Cynthia Ireland.
- Ever since childhood, Kathleen was highly industrious and would sell hand-painted rocks and even worked as a paper boy.
- She embarked on a modelling career when she was picked by the ‘Elite Modelling Agency’ in 1980. Landing her first endorsement even before she completed high school, this green-eyed beauty has never looked back and went on to establish herself as a household name.
- Her career was propelled to heights of success when, in 1984, she appeared on the cover of Swimsuit Issue of the magazine ‘Sports Illustrated’ for the first time. Over the years she went on to be featured in the magazine for as many as thirteen times.
- She made her first Television appearance in the 1985 show ‘Charles in Charge’. Though her role in the show was blink and miss, it piqued her interest in the medium.
- She then appeared in the full-length movie ‘Alien from L.A.’ in the year 1988. The movie was rebuked by critics and failed to make much collection at the box-office.
- For the Silver Jubilee edition of the Swimsuit Issue, Kathy was selected to pose for the cover of the magazine, in 1989, for the first time. Throughout her modelling career, she featured on the cover on two more occasions.
- The endearing beauty was cast in the movies ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’ and ‘Worth Winning’ in the year 1989. The following year he bagged two new roles in the motion pictures ‘Side Out’ and ‘Mr. Destiny’.
- In 1991, the actress portrayed the character of Lucy Draper in the sports comedy movie ‘Necessary Roughness’.
- In 1992, this diva featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue for the second time. She even made several film and television appearances in the same year which included her roles in the comedy ‘Mom and Dad Save the World’ and the TV Movie ‘Danger Island’.
- In 1993, she was cast as Destiny Demeanor in the film ‘Loaded Weapon 1’ and as Taylor Christopher in ‘Amore’, both comedy flicks. She also made an appearance on the ‘The Larry Sanders Show’ on TV in the same year.
- It was also in 1993, that Kathy embarked on a business venture and started a brand marketing company. Initially dealing with clothing and accessories, ‘Kathy Ireland Worldwide’ had an exclusive deal with the retailer Kmart.
- She slowly expanded the horizons of her business and delved into home furnishings, gowns and dresses for weddings and other social gatherings, footwear, management services for artists, fine jewellery, publishing, pet care, and gift and craft items. The company bloomed under her expert guidance and boasts of an annual sales figure of $2 billion.
- The year 1994 marked her third appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated and she even started making fitness videos. Several of her videos were awarded by the ‘Entertainment Merchants Association’ and the success of her videos prompted her to divulge her business into licencing of fitness equipment.
- In 1995, she lent her voice to the character of Crystal in the superhero comic series ‘The Fantastic Four’. Her other television appearances of the year included the film ‘Backfire!’ and the TV series ‘The Watcher’.
- She continued making appearances in television the following year and even lent her voice to the character of Ogress in the Marvel Comics creation ‘The Incredible Hulk’. The same year she made her final appearance in the Sports Illustrated magazine.
- Starting in 1999, Kathy championed the cause of equality in the world of sports and was appointed the presenter of several Golf tournaments organised by the ‘Ladies Professional Golf Association’.
- In 2000, she starred in the film ‘Once Upon a Christmas’ and was the presenter of the ‘Office Depot Championship’ organised by the LPGA. The following year she reprised her role of Kristen Claus in the sequel ‘Twice Upon a Christmas’.
- In 2002, this diva turned to writing and penned out the book ‘Powerful Inspirations: Eight Lessons that Will Change Your Life’. In the book she charts her journey from being a new paper boy to becoming the CEO of one of the most powerful brand licensing company.
- In 2003, her company ‘Kathy Ireland Worldwide’ severed all ties with their exclusive business partner ‘Kmart’. By the following year her company’s annual turnover was reported to be approximately $10 million and was licensing products from as many as sixteen manufacturers.
- Kathy turned to writing children’s books in the year 2009 and published three of her works, ‘Mona's Favorite Words’, ‘What Do Mommies Do?’ and ‘An Angel Called Hope’, in the same year.
- During 2005-2012, the company underwent immense diversification and the sales rocketed up to $2 billion annually. The merchandise mogul was named as the world’s richest model by the British Vogue in their May 2012 issue.
- An eloquent public speaker, Kathy voiced her opinion on how the youth can contribute towards eradicating poverty at the fourth ‘Youth Assembly’ at the United Nations Headquarters, in 2007.
- The year 2009 witnessed the release of two of her books ‘Real Solutions for Busy Moms: Your Guide to Success’ and ‘Sanity and Real Solutions: 52 God Inspired Messages from My Heart’.
- She strongly advocates the cause of Israel and is also represents the ‘Friends of Sheba Medical Center’ since 2009. The following year she travelled to Israel and was involved in the making of a documentary ‘Holy Land Heroes’, which accounted the efforts of the organization to help wounded soldiers and victims of war.
- The entrepreneur has delivered keynotes at several eminent corporate gatherings which include one at ‘Googleplex’ and other at the ‘Licensing international Expo 2012’, which commenced at Las Vegas.
- Kathy joined the league of supermodels of the 1980s and 1990s era. She featured in the ‘Sports Illustrated’ magazine for consecutive thirteen years. She posed for the 25th Anniversary edition of the Swimsuit Issue of ‘Sports Illustrated’.
- Kathy is the chief designer and CEO of the marketing firm ‘Kathy Ireland Worldwide’, and has developed it into one of the leading brands in the world of design and marketing.
- Cathy’s first appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue still remains one of the best-selling issues of the magazine and the cover was awarded the title ‘The Greatest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover Of All Time’ at the 50th Anniversary event of the Swimsuit Issue.
- The Jewish NGO ‘Anti-Defamation League’, based in the United States awarded her the ‘American Heritage Award’ in June 2011.
- This eminent philanthropist and entrepreneur, was honoured with the ‘Messenger of Peace Award’ in 2012. The nation of Israel lauded her efforts for the support she extended to their cause at the ‘Jewish National Fund Tree of Life Gala’.
- Kathy has been awarded with an honorary master’s degree in fine arts by the ‘School of Design’ affiliated to the ‘American intercontinental University’.
- Ireland exchanged nuptial vows with Greg Olsen who is a practicing physician in the year 1988. The couple have three children Erik, Lily and Chloe and the family resides in Southern California.
- Kathy and Elizabeth Taylor, the actress, remained friends till the latter’s death in 2011. According to Kathy, Elizabeth had an immense role in her success and she regards Taylor as her mentor.
- According to the Forbes magazine, Kathy’s net worth is estimated at $350 million and she is regarded as one of the richest model turned entrepreneur. Her marketing and design company ‘Kathy Ireland Worldwide’ sells merchandise worth $2 billion annually.
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