Martha Stewart was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, on August 3, 1941. She is known for being a businesswoman, writer, and television personality. Stewart has written numerous bestselling books, is the publisher of Martha Stewart Living magazine, and hosted two syndicated television programs: Martha Stewart Living (1993-2004) and The Martha Stewart Show (2005-2012).
When Stewart was 10, she occasionally babysat New York Yankees players Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, and Gil McDougald’s children. She also began modeling and at 15 years old, Stewart was featured in a television commercial for Unilever. She even starred in a Tareyton cigarette advertisement in which “Smokers would rather fight than switch!” During her college years, she modeled for luxury French fashion house Chanel. Stewart’s family taught her a lot about cooking when she was growing up. Her mother taught her how to cook and sew, while her father passed on his knowledge and expertise in gardening. She learned how to can and preserve foods from her grandparents.
In 1976, Stewart started a catering business in her basement with a friend from her modeling days, Norma Collier. After the two had a falling out, Stewart bought out Collier’s portion of the business. In 1990, Stewart signed with Time Publishing Ventures to develop her magazine, Martha Stewart Living. Three years later, Stewart hosted Martha Stewart Living, based on her magazine. By 2001, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) found Stewart had avoided a loss of over $45,000 by selling all 3,928 shares of her ImClone Systems stock after receiving material, nonpublic information from her broker at Merrill Lynch. The day following her sale, the stock value fell 16%.
She was indicted by a grand jury on nine counts, including charges of securities fraud and obstruction of justice on June 4, 2003. In 2004, Stewart was convicted of felony charges and served five months in federal prison. However, this didn’t end her media empire; Martha began a comeback campaign, and her company returned to profitability the following year.
In recent years, she and her friend Snoop Dogg hosted a show called Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party, featuring games, recipes, and celebrity guests. The show ran for two seasons. As we previously reported, Stewart appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue as the cover model. At 81 years old, Stewart is the oldest model to be featured on the cover.
See below photos of Martha Stewart through the years: