Martha Helen Stewart, born August 3, 1941, had many jobs before becoming who she is nowadays. She worked as a model, a stockbroker, and a caterer. The latter got her discovered and made her a star in the world of gastronomy — fame she would later find very useful. Stewart was able to develop a brand around her that caught the attention of thousands, and soon after she built a very successful media empire around herself and her image. This has made her one of the most powerful and influential figures in the U.S. media landscape. Read on to celebrate this amazing woman’s special day with us!
Martha Helen Stewart
August 3, 1941
In a relationship
Martha Stewart has made a big mark on the business world. From building her own media empire, to becoming the first female self-made billionaire in the United States, her image has earned her her brand of success, and she has navigated her fame with tact and grace. Stewart was born Martha Helen Kostyra on August 3, 1941, in Jersey City, New Jersey. Her zodiac sign is Leo and her ethnicity is Polish. She is the daughter of Martha and Edward Kostyra, and she has five siblings. During childhood, she learned many skills from her parents and grandparents, like cooking, sewing, gardening, canning, and preserving. She had her first job at 10 years old, working as a babysitter, and then became a model in her teenage years, appearing in commercials and magazines. She continued modeling during college, to supplement her scholarship money, and among her clients was Chanel. During this time she also met Andrew Stewart, a Yale Law School student. They married in July 1961, and she graduated from Columbia in 1962 with a double major in History and Architectural History.
Stewart began her professional career in 1967, by working as a stockbroker. Stewart then ventured on many jobs and projects, most notably her own catering business and opening a gourmet food store. Meanwhile, her husband had become the president of New York City publisher Harry N. Abrams, Inc. He hired Stewart’s catering company to cater a book release party, which was where she was introduced to Alan Mirken, the head of Crown Publishing Group. Mirken was impressed by Stewart’s cooking and hosting abilities and developed a cookbook with her. In 1982, her first book, titled “Entertaining,” was published. The success of her first book helped her release several more books in the following years, including “Martha Stewart’s Quick Cook” (1983), “Martha Stewart’s Pies & Tarts” (1985), “The Wedding Planner” (1988), “Martha Stewart’s Quick Cook Menus” (1988) and “Martha Stewart’s Christmas” (1989). She also wrote many magazine articles and newspaper columns, and appeared on important T.V. shows like “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and “Larry King Live.” In 1990, Stewart signed with Time Publishing Ventures to develop a new magazine under her name, titled “Martha Stewart Living,” where she also served as editor-in-chief. A show named “Martha Stewart Living” which was based on her magazine began airing in 1993.
In 1997, Stewart and her business partner Sharon Patrick managed to secure funding to purchase all of the television, print, and merchandising ventures related to the Martha Stewart Brand. These ventures were all consolidated into one company, the Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (M.S.L.O.), of which Stewart was chairwoman, president, and C.E.O. In October 1999, M.S.L.O. went public on the New York Stock Exchange. The success of this decision made Stewart the first female self-made billionaire in the United States. However, her future was not as bright as she expected. In June 2003, she was indicted by the government on nine counts, including securities fraud and obstruction of justice. This caused her to step down from her position as C.E.O and Chairwoman of M.S.L.O. Stewart was found guilty in March 2004 of felony charges of conspiracy, obstruction of an agency proceeding, and making false statements to federal investigators. She served five months in prison in 2004 and had two years of supervised release. She paid a fine of $30,000, as well. After her release from prison in March 2005, Stewart launched a highly publicized comeback, a very good call that earned her her success back. She returned to daytime television with “The Martha Stewart Show,” which ran from 2005 to 2010. In 2006, the show received six Daytime Emmy nominations. In 2010, it was moved to the Hallmark Channel where it ran for two more years under the name “Martha.” Stweart also released several books, including “Martha Stewart Baking Handbook” (2005) and “Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook” (2006). Other business ventures launched by Stewart include an upscale Macy’s line of homewares, a 24-hour satellite radio channel with Sirius FM, a line of carpet tiles launched with FLOR, Inc., and the Martha Stewart Vintage wine brand. Stewart has also been known to collaborate with rapper Snoop Dogg, including a T.V. show titled “Martha 6 Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party” which premiered on VH1 in 2016. In 2020, she premiered a new gardening show on H.G.T.V. called “Martha Knows Best.”
After graduating from college, she begins working as a stockbroker.
Stewart starts a catering business with a friend from her modeling days.
After her catering talents impressed the head of a publishing group, Stewart releases her first cookbook, “Entertaining.”
After gaining success with many more cookbooks, Stewart develops a magazine called “Martha Stewart Living,” for which she serves as editor-in-chief.
“Martha Stewart Living,” based on her magazine, is a weekly show and runs until 2004.
She purchases all media related to the Martha Stewart brand and consolidates them into a new company, of which she serves as chairwoman, president, and C.E.O.
After her media company goes public, Stewart becomes a billionaire, which made her the first female self-made billionaire in the United States.
Why We Love Martha Stewart
Stewart carved a place for herself in the world of business
As a female entrepreneur, Stewart had to navigate her way through the male-dominated world of business. And not only did she succeed in that, but she also was able to become one of the most prominent figures in that world, becoming the first female self-made billionaire and building a media empire.
She is adored by thousands
Stewart’s success has pretty much made her a household name. People all over the country turn to her content for advice on cooking, gardening, and more, and their hearts are won over by her personality and image.
Stewart supports important causes
She once gave $5 million to New York’s Mt. Sinai Hospital for a center on healthy aging. Over the years, she has also supported a wide variety of charities and causes, including the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the American Humane Association.
5 Surprising Facts
Stewart’s in the Hall of Fame
She was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2018.
She doesn’t sleep much
Stewart only sleeps four hours a night, so that she can get more work done during the day.
Stewart grew up a bookworm
During her childhood, she tried to read every book in her local library.
She’s won many awards
Throughout her career, Stewart’s ventures have received many awards, including 11 Daytime Emmys.
One of the most beautiful people
In 1996, “People” magazine named her on their ‘50 Most Beautiful People in the World’ list.
Martha Stewart FAQs
Is Martha Stewart in a relationship?
Yes! Stewart has recently revealed that she is dating someone, though she doesn’t want to reveal her partner’s identity.
Does Martha Stewart have kids?
Yes, Stewart has one daughter, Alexis Stewart, with her ex-husband.
Are Snoop and Martha friends?
Yes! The businesswoman and the rapper share a real friendship beyond their joint projects.
Martha Stewart’s birthday dates