The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. (ELC) released a statement that Evelyn H. Lauder who was the founder of the pink ribbon for cancer awareness passed away at her home in New York City from complications arising out of non-genetic ovarian cancer which she had been battling since her diagnosis in 2007. She was 75, and died surrounded by her family.
Working with former editor of Self magazine Alexandra Penney, Lauder initially created the breast cancer awareness campaign, having the staff at the makeup counters in the department stores hand out pink ribbons to female customers to remind them about screening for breast cancer.
The campaign did evolve, however. The stores soon had products that raised funds for breast cancer awareness, and then Congress called for October to be Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Over $330 million was raised in donations to the campaign, $50 million of which came from Estee Lauder and associates. The money went to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation – an organization founded by Lauder.