Lauder is the billionaire heir to the cosmetics company his mother Estée founded, as well as a major patron of the arts. Lauder is currently the chairman emeritus of Estée Lauder; he was the CEO until 1999.
Leonard Lauder grew up in the shadow of his famous mother, cosmetics magnate Estée Lauder (née Josephine Esther Mentzer), who founded the family business in 1946 with a simple skin cream she concocted in the kitchen sink with help from her chemist uncle. After attending Wharton and Columbia Business School - and serving in the U.S. Navy - Leonard officially joined the family business in 1958. It was a relatively minor enterprise when he first came aboard - the company was generating just $800,000 a year in sales. Of course, it didn't stay small for long: By the 1970s, Estée Lauder had emerged as one of the nation's largest beauty conglomerates and in 1982 Leonard took over as CEO, guiding it through the launch of numerous new brands (Clinique, Prescriptives, Origins) and acquisitions (MAC, Bobbi Brown, Aveda) while his mother served as the public face of the company.
His fortune and free time have allowed Lauder to become a notable (and generous) player on the contemporary art scene. He has been a major benefactor of the Whitney, where he was the chairman from 1994-2008. Lauder's donations don't end with his priceless works of art — in 2008 he donated $131 million, the single largest contribution in the museum's history.
Lauder was married to Evelyn Lauder (née Hausner) until her death in 2011. Evelyn is credited as one of the creators of the pink ribbon as a symbol for breast cancer awareness. She succumbed to ovarian cancer at age 75. Leonard and Evelyn have two sons: William and Gary. [Image via Getty]