Martha Helen Kostyra on August 3, 1941 in Jersey City, Stewart was raised in suburban Nutley, New Jersey.
grew up in a bustling household tended over by her mother - who
cooked and sewed for each of her six children - and from whom
young Martha quickly learned the fine art of homemaking.
the overachiever, she began modeling in New York while attending
high school where, characteristically, graduated in the top ten.
She later attended Barnard College in New York and there met her
future husband, Andy Stewart.
couple moved to Westport, Connecticut and began renovating the
famous Turkey Hill Road address, later the site of a catering
business aimed at a decidedly upscale Connecticut clientele. She
parlayed that experience into a bestselling book, Entertaining,
first published in 1982, followed by two cookbooks.
on TV guest appearances, and in public television specials, she
was always introduced as "homemaking maven" or "lifestyle
expert", Martha Stewart.
With her reputation
firmly established, she eventually undertook a lucrative role
as spokesperson for the department store mega-chain K-Mart. She
also continued to build a homemaking empire with a hugely successful
monthly magazine, Martha Stewart Living, which first hit
newsstands in 1990 supplemented by her regular appearances on the
morning Today show.
By 1996, Stewart
was named one of America's Most Influential People.
A year later,
she took total control over her assets by creating Martha Stewart
Living Omnimedia encompassing her vast influence over radio, TV,
in print, mail order, and later a Web site at marthastewart.com.
All was not
homemade bread-and-roses for Stewart, however, when she was somewhat
unflatteringly portrayed by actress Cybill Shepherd ("Did
I NOT ask for merlot?") in a 2003 made-for-television movie,
Inc.: The Story of Martha Stewart.
movie was being filmed, Stewart in real life was suddenly being
accused in an insider Wall Street trading scandal.
widely reported release on March 4, 2005 was followed by another
five months under house arrest wearing an "unfashionable"
electronic anklet that allowed authorities to track her (an experience
also described as "hideous" by Stewart in a July 2005
interview with Vanity Fair).
and fans agreed that upon completing her sentence, Stewart would
likely take back the reigns of her empire and - as fate would
have it - plans were announced for her comeback even before her
As part of
a deal struck with NBC, Stewart hosted a new homemaking show plus
a starring role in her own Donald
Trump-style series, The
Apprentice Martha Stewart. However,
barely weeks into the reality TV program the network announced
its cancellation due to poor ratings.
all her personal and professional travails, Martha Stewart is
perhaps more influential as ever as the reigning Queen of Homemaking and a major
More about Martha Stewart on the Web:
- The official site of the Martha Stewart empire featuring the
online shop, magazine subscriptions, Martha Stewart Flowers, e-cards,
plus free resources including recipes and entertaining tips, TV
show video clips, message-boards.
Stewart - Wikipedia - The complete bio including personal
details, professional accomplishments, news & scandals with
photos, related references and resources.