Monday, January 3, 2011

Martha Stewart Biography News Profile Relationships Wallpaper.

Lifestyle guru and businesswoman Martha Stewart was born Martha Kostyra, on August 3, 1941, in New Jersey. The second of six children, Stewart grew up in Nutley, New Jersey, a working-class community near New York City. She worked as a model from the age of 13, appearing in fashion shows as well as television and print advertisements. She attended Barnard College in Manhattan, where she earned a degree in European and architectural history in 1962. While at Barnard, she met Andy Stewart, a Yale law student, and the two married in 1961. Six years later, after the birth of their daughter, Alexis, Stewart went to work as a stockbroker for the boutique firm of Monness, Williams, and Sidel. She worked on Wall Street until 1972, when the family moved to Westport, Connecticut.

After the Stewarts restored the 19th century farmhouse they had bought, Martha decided to focus her energy on gourmet cooking, having trained herself from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She started a catering business in the late 1970s, and soon became known for her gourmet menus and unique, creative presentation. Within a decade, Martha Stewart, Inc., had grown into a $1 million business serving a number of corporate and celebrity clients. Stewart expanded into the world of publishing with her first book, Entertaining, which became a bestseller and was followed in quick succession by such publications as Martha Stewart's Quick Cook Menus, Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvres, Martha Stewart's Christmas, and Martha Stewart's Wedding Planner. Her newfound fame took its toll on her personal life, as her marriage to Andy Stewart ended in divorce in 1990, after a bitter three-year separation.
In 1991, Martha Stewart, Inc., became Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc., with the release of her magazine, Martha Stewart Living. Stewart's lifestyle empire soon grew to include two magazines, a checkout-size recipe publication, a popular cable television show, a syndicated newspaper column, a series of how-to books, a radio show, an Internet site, and $763 million in annual retail sales.

On October 19, 1999, America's most famous homemaker returned to Wall Street to see her company through its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. At the end of the day, the price of each of 72 million shares in Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. had jumped more than 95 percent and raised almost $130 million. Stewart herself controls 96 percent of the voting shares in her company and is worth $1.2 billion.

In June 2002, Stewart again made financial headlines, this time for rumors of insider trading. Stewart was under investigation for selling hundreds of shares of ImClone Systems just prior to the Food and Drug Administration's refusal to approve the company's new cancer drug. The value of the stock dropped markedly after the FDA's announcement. Due to the investigation, Stewart resigned from the board of directors of the New York Stock Exchange in October, just four months after she had joined. In June 2003, a 41-page indictment charged Stewart with securities fraud, obstruction of justice, conspiracy and making false statements to prosecutors and the FBI. She pleaded innocent to all charges and stepped down as chair and CEO of her Omnimedia empire. In February 2004, a judge dismissed the securities fraud charge, but a jury found her guilty of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and two counts of making false statements.

Martha Helen Kostyra was born on August 3, 1941 in Nutley , New Jersey . She grew up in a large middle class family of Polish-American heritage. Her parents were hard workers and instilled this ethic in their daughter as well. Martha developed the ability to do chores easily and started to develop her creativity.

Through high school she made straight As and received a partial scholarship to Barnard College in New York City . To help pay for the rest of her school she modeled and eventually got her degree in History and Architectural History. Around the same time she married Andy Stewart and continued to use modeling as a career until her daughter Alexis was born in 1965.

Not long afterwards the family moved to Westport , Connecticut and purchased a 19 th century farmhouse. In her typical fashion, Martha began restoring the house and it was apparent how passionate she was about restoring and decorating.

From there she decided to turn her basement into a catering business. Her first job was catering a wedding, which was very successful. Business blossomed from there as word spread fast about Martha. Not soon after, she received a book deal to write a book on catering.

Martha soon became the spokeswoman for K-Mart’s home department. A few years later Martha Stewart would have her own magazine and talk show, “Martha Stewart Living.” In 1995, New York Magazine named Martha Stewart, “the definitive American woman of our time.”
In the last couple of years Martha has been through a lot. In 2002, she was investigated for alleged insider trading. On March 5, 2004 she was found guilty of securities fraud, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy and spent some time in jail. However, Martha is now out of jail and back to conquering the world.

In 2001, Ladies Home Journal named her the third most powerful woman in America. By 2002, the magazine Martha Stewart Living was selling more than 2 million copies per issue, and her syndicated television program was seen by millions around the world. In June of that year, she accepted an invitation to join the Board of Directors of the New York Stock Exchange, but resigned her seat only four months later, when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accused her of violating insider trading rules. The charges led to a lengthy investigation by the Justice Department. MSLO's share price fell, Stewart's television program was cancelled, and as the company's losses mounted, many doubted it could ever recover.

Martha Stewart Biography Photo
Although Martha Stewart maintained her innocence of all charges, she was brought to trial in the first months of 2004. The court dismissed the original accusation of insider trading from which the other charges stemmed, but in March, the jury found her guilty of misleading federal investigators and obstructing an investigation. Her stockbroker and the CEO of the involved company were also convicted. The court ordered Stewart to pay a $30,000 fine and serve a five-month prison sentence. Although she initially planned to appeal her conviction, she ultimately decided to accept the sentence rather than pursue an appeals process that could drag on for years. She was confined from October 2004 to March 2005. Her imprisonment was followed by two years of supervised release, including five months of electronic monitoring.

After her release, Stewart immediately set about rebuilding her business. She began a new daily television program, The Martha Stewart Show, as well as a weekly call-in show on the Sirius satellite radio network. In a new book, The Martha Rules, she shared her strategy for starting and managing a new business. More new books followed, including The Martha Stewart Baking Handbook and Homekeeping Handbook. She made regular appearances on The Today Show, while her own program was nominated for six daytime Emmy Awards. Within a year of her release, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia had returned to profitability.

Today MSLO operates in four main areas: publishing, Internet, broadcasting and merchandising, all of which cross-promote content and products. In addition to an ever-expanding library of book titles, the publishing arm issues the magazines Martha Stewart Living, Weddings, Everyday Food and Whole Living, as well as special issues on family and holiday themes. MSLO's Internet presence,, features content from Martha's television and radio programs, as well as magazine content, while the magazines Whole Living and Weddings have web sites of their own.

Martha Stewart Biography Photo
The broadcasting arm includes the PBS program Everyday Food and the Martha Stewart Living radio program. In 2010, MSLO announced that the syndicated Martha Stewart Show, recorded before a live television audience, would move to the Hallmark Channel, to air every morning, followed by MSLO programs featuring Stewart's daughter Alexis and other Stewart associates. Martha Stewart has also expanded her merchandise lines, creating product lines for Home Depot, Sears, Macy's and Wal-Mart, a Martha Stewart brand of wine and a line of fresh and frozen foods. MSLO has even expanded into home construction, building and selling houses modeled after Stewart's homes in New York and Maine.

Over the years, Martha Stewart has shown patience and good humor in the face of the criticism and satire that are the inevitable lot of public figures in the mass media, but the quiet stoicism she displayed through her trial and imprisonment -- and the perseverance with which she rebuilt her business empire -- have won the admiration of many who never bought her books or watched her television program. While the company she founded continues to thrive, Martha Stewart has had more influence on how Americans, eat, entertain, and decorate their homes and gardens than any one person in our history.


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