We know Martha Stewart as the highly accomplished expert of cooking, decorating, and entertaining. This successful businesswoman is a household name and the author of numerous bestselling books. We all know who Martha Stewart is, but few know the journey that got her here. Here's a look at Martha Stewart's life over the years, from young Martha Stewart to the icon we know today.
Martha Stewart's Early Life
Martha Stewart's first job was as a babysitter for a number of New York Yankees. Her organizational and decorating skills were honed early in life, as she was often called upon to organize birthday parties for the sons of one of these clients.
Stewart learned many of the skills she'd build her career on from her family. Her mother taught her how to cook and stew, and her grandparents showed her how to can and preserve food. As for her father, he was an avid gardener and shared much of his knowledge with his daughter.
At a young age, Stewart began her modeling career. She was featured in a TV commercial for Unilever at 15, which led her to appear in a number of commercials and magazines over the years. She also appeared in one of Tareyton's cigarette ads. Stewart was always resourceful, and used her modeling jobs to pay for college. She had a range of clients, including Chanel.
After graduating from Nutley High School, Stewart went to Barnard College of Columbia University, majoring in history and architectural history. During college she also met her future husband, Andrew Stewart. She and Andrew would later have a single daughter, Alexis Stewart.
The Start of an Impressive Career
After working as a stockbroker on Wall Street, the well-known businesswoman began a catering business with a friend from her modeling days, Norma Collier. This was a quick success, but business turned south when Collier accused Stewart of being hard to work with.
As for her personal life during this time, Stewart and her husband moved to Westport, Connecticut, where they restored an 1805 farmhouse on Turkey Hill Road. This would eventually become the model for the studio of Martha Stewart Living. Throughout the restoration of their farmhouse, Stewart's inherent decorating talent came to light.
In this pic from 1976, we can get a glimpse of how hip young Martha Stewart really was- check out her all-denim outfit as she herds geese in her yard!
Stewart's Career Continues to Blossom
In 1982, Clarkson Potter published her first book, Entertaining, which was about Stewart's catering tips and successes. This was a hit, and was only the beginning of her many books to come. Throughout her life, Stewart has continued to publish book after book, from Martha Stewart's Pies & Tarts, The Wedding Planner, Martha Stewart's Secrets for Entertaining, and more. She also wrote many magazine articles, newspaper columns, and other pieces as well, along with appearing on TV on many high profile programs.
In the 1990's, Stewart created Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, which included a magazine and TV program. Stewart's success and fame only continued to grow as she appeared on shows like Today Show and the CBS network. In 1995, New York Magazine dubbed the businesswoman "the definitive American woman of our time."
The one dip in Stewart's success was when she was convicted of felony charges in 2004. After serving five months in prison, she was released in 2005. Although many felt that this would be the end of her success and adoration in the public eye, she bounced back from the incident and has continued to publish books and appear on TV ever since.
Stewart's daily talk show The Martha Stewart Show was nominated in six categories for the 33rd Daytime Emmy Awards in 2006, and she's gone on to launch a number of business ventures like a line of houses, a line of paper-based crafts, houseware, a wine brand, food brands, and so much more.
It seems that this legend of cooking and decorating is nowhere near slowing down. Over the past few years, she's added being a Chopped judge, hosting a gardening show, and hosting a show with her good friend Snoop Dogg to her list of accomplishments.
Her current net worth is said to be $400 million, which is close to Ellen DeGeneres' $600 million and four times as much as Rachael Ray's estimated net worth. Here she is at the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party looking as youthful and glamorous as ever!