Born In: Jersey City, New Jersey, United States
Martha Stewart is an American retail businesswoman, former model, television personality, writer, and convicted felon. An ‘Emmy’ award-winning TV show host, Martha has made it big as a businesswoman in America. This business tycoon was featured on ‘Fortune’ magazine’s list of ‘50 Most Powerful Women.’ She is one of the most trusted and well-known lifestyle experts to millions of Americans, to whom she imparts everyday skills like cooking, home décor, entertaining, housekeeping, gardening, and crafting among other skills. The founder of ‘Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia,’ Stewart has launched magazines, books, and television shows. Her television show ‘Martha Stewart Living’ was a massive success and went on to receive the prestigious ‘Daytime Emmy Award.’ Born into a middle-class family in New Jersey, Stewart learned gardening as a child from her father, while the art of cooking, baking, and sewing was imparted to her by her mother. Also, her grandparents taught her the process of canning and preserving. She began her career by appearing in TV commercials and also had a stint in modeling. She then went on to build a media empire that faced the risk of collapsing when charges pertaining to the ‘ImClone stock trading case’ were pressed against her. However, she bounced back and took charge of her company, restoring normalcy and profitability.
Nick Name: M. Diddy
Also Known As: Martha Helen Stewart, Martha Helen Kostyra
Spouse/Ex-: Andrew Stewart (m. 1961–1990)
father: Edward Kostyra
mother: Martha Ruszkowski Kostyra
siblings: Eric Scott, Frank Kostyra, George Christiansen, Kathryn Evans, Laura Plimpton
children: Alexis Stewart
Born Country: United States
Ancestry: Polish American
Notable Alumni: Barnard College
City: Jersey City, New Jersey
U.S. State: New Jersey
Founder/Co-Founder: Martha Stewart Living magazine
education: Barnard College
Martha Stewart was born Martha Helen Kostyraon on 3 August 1941, in Jersey City, New Jersey, USA, to Edward Kostyra and Martha Ruszkowski Kostyra. By the time she turned three, her family had relocated to Nutley, New Jersey.
She went to ‘Nutley High School’ in New Jersey and later attended ‘Barnard College’ from where she graduated with a double major in history and architectural history.
At the age of 15, she was seen in a ‘Unilever’ television commercial. This marked her debut in television posts where she starred in numerous television commercials. She took to modeling during her college days to earn some money.
In 1976, she started her own catering business along with Norma Collier, a friend from her modeling days. The business was a complete success, but differences between her and Collier arose, as a result of which, Martha bought her share of the business.
She worked for a gourmet store from where she was fired. This motivated her to open her own food store. Meanwhile, she met Alan Mirken, head of ‘Crown Publishing Group,’ at a party. Astonished by her knowledge and skills, Mirken encouraged her to develop a cookbook.
She released her first book ‘Entertaining’ in 1982. The book featured recipes and photos from the parties that she had hosted previously.
In 1983, she came up with the book ‘Martha Stewart's Quick Cook.’ The book targeted people with busy lifestyles; it included 200 recipes that could be put together in less than an hour.
In 1984, she published the book ‘Martha Stewart's Hors D'oeuvres’ which was about finger foods that could be served at various types of parties. The book included 150 recipes.
In the late-1980s, she published many books on cooking and homemaking. By this time, she had also authored many columns on homemaking for magazines and newspapers.
In 1990, she began a quarterly magazine named ‘Martha Stewart Living’ which was published by ‘Time Inc.’ She became the editor-in-chief of the magazine and released its first issue in the winter of 1990.
In September 1993, ‘Martha Stewart Living’ opened on television as a half-hour syndicated show that was broadcasted every week. She was the host of the show.
In September 1997, Martha secured funding to buy the various print, television, and merchandising ventures pertaining to the Martha Stewart brand. She then consolidated them and formed her new company 'Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia' (MSLO).
Later in 1997, she launched her line of exclusive and affordable collection of bedding sets and bath collections titled, ‘Martha Stewart Everyday Bed’. The collection was available at Kmart, a chain of discount stores.
In 1999, MSLO went public on the ‘New York Stock Exchange.’ The stock price peaked at $38 per share, making Martha Stewart the first female self-made billionaire in America.
In December 2001, she sold 3,928 ImClone Systems stocks in order to avoid loss and the next day the value of the stock fell by 16 percent. Later in 2003, she was accused of securities fraud and obstruction of justice.
In January 2004, she went on a six-week jury trial to face the charges put against her and she was declared guilty. She faced charges of conspiracy.
In July 2004, she was given a sentence for a period of five months in a federal correctional facility. Additionally, she was also to be on supervised release and electronic monitoring for a period of two years.
In 2005, after her release she launched the ‘Martha Stewart Living Radio’, which was aired on Sirius Satellite Radio's channel 112. That year, she also hosted ‘The Martha Stewart Show’ on NBC.
In the fall of 2005, she hosted the reality game show, ‘The Apprentice: Martha Stewart’, which was created by Donald Trump. The show was broadcast on the NBC network.
In 2006, she published the book, ‘Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook: The Essential Guide to Caring for Everything in Your Home’. The book was a bestseller.
In 2007, she created a collection of homewares for the departmental store giant, ‘Macy's’. She was also seen in Macy’s commercials in which she claimed to have designed 20,000 items for the department chain.
In 2008, craft merchandise was released under the labels of ‘Martha Stewart Celebrate’ and ‘Martha Stewart Create’. The collection was sold at all Wal-Mart outlets.
In 2010, she began to air her show, ‘The Martha Stewart Show’ as ‘Martha’ on the Hallmark Channel. The show focused on interior design, cooking, gardening, and arts and crafts.
In 2012, a TV series titled, ‘Martha Stewart's Cooking School’, debuted on the PBS network. A weekly 30 min episode, the show highlights information on cooking basics and techniques. Most of its content is based on her eponymous book.
In 2016, alongside her friend Snoop Dogg, she started appearing on VH1’s show ‘Martha & Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party’ where they host games and parties for musical guests. They were also featured in a commercial for ‘T-Mobile’ the following year.
Martha started appearing as a recurring judge in the American reality cooking show ‘Chopped’ in 2018. In February 2019, she joined the Canadian marijuana company ‘Canopy Growth’ as their advisor. In July 2020, she launched the reality television series ‘Martha Knows Best.’ The show ran for 2 seasons and aired its final episode in December 2020. She also launched a sequel to the series in 2021 titled ‘Martha Gets Down and Dirty.’In 2022, she released 3 new shows on The Roku Channel named ‘Martha Gardens,’ ‘Martha Cooks,’ and ‘Martha Holidays.’
In 2023, she became the oldest model to appear on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
She is the founder of ‘Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc.,’ which has launched many of her creations and products. When the company went public in 1999, the stocks jumped from $18 per share to $38 per share by the end of trading, making her the first female self-made billionaire in the US.
She is the recipient of the prestigious ‘Daytime Emmy’ which she won under the Outstanding Service Show Host’ category for ‘Martha Stewart Living.’ She won the award in 1995, 1997, 2002, and 2003. She also won the same award for her show ‘Martha’ in 2011.
In 2010 and 2011, she received a ‘Daytime Emmy Award under the Outstanding Lifestyle Program’ category for ‘Martha.’
In 2011, she was inducted into the ‘New Jersey Hall of Fame.’
In 1961, she married Andrew Stewart with whom she had a daughter named Alexis. The couple separated in 1987 and divorced three years later.
She was romantically involved with actor Anthony Hopkins and billionaire Charles Simonyi.
This American businesswoman sleeps only for four hours with the lights on. She claims that by doing so she can go back to work right away.
She briefly dated actor Anthony Hopkins. However, she later broke up with him after watching the 1991 psychological horror film ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ as she couldn’t disassociate Hopkins from Hannibal Lecter, the character he played in the film.
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