Martha Stewart Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Martha Stewart is an American Entrepreneur, writer, and TV personality born on August 3, 1941. She founded Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia focusing on homes and hospitality. Through this, she became successful in publishing broadcasting merchandising, and online sales. She’s written many popular books ran Martha Stewart Living magazine and hosted two TV shows.

In 2004, she got in legal trouble over the ImClone stock case and spent five months in jail. People thought this would ruin her business but in 2005 she started making a comeback. Her company became profitable again in 2006. She got back on her company’s board in 2011 and became chairwoman in 2012. Her company was bought by Sequential Brands in 2015 and later sold to Marquee Brands in 2019 for $175 million.

Full NameMartha Stewart
Date of BirthAugust 3, 1941
Place of BirthJersey City, New Jersey, U.S.
OccupationEntrepreneur, television personality, writer
Height5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
SpouseAndrew Stewart (m. 1961–1990)
ChildrenAlexis Stewart
Net Worth$400 million

Martha Stewart’s Early Life and Education

Martha Stewart Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Martha Stewart was born in Jersey City, New Jersey on August 3, 1941. She’s the second of six kids to Edward Kostyra and Martha Ruszkowski both teachers. They later moved to Nutley New Jersey when Martha was three. She picked the name “Grace” for her Catholic confirmation.

When Martha was 10 she babysat for the children of famous New York Yankees players like Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra. She also did some modeling gigs. By 15 she was in TV ads for Unilever and Tareyton cigarettes. In college, she modeled for Chanel to help pay her tuition.

Martha learned cooking and sewing from her mom and canning and gardening from her dad. She was also active in school clubs and graduated from Nutley High. At Barnard College, she initially studied chemistry but switched to art and history. She met Andrew Stewart a Yale Law School graduate and they got married in 1961. Martha eventually graduated with majors in history and architectural history.

Career

Martha Stewart Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

In 1967, Martha Stewart started a new job as a stockbroker following her father-in-law’s footsteps. Around the same time, her husband Andrew Stewart began a publishing business and worked for several other companies. The couple moved to Westport Connecticut where they bought and fixed up an old farmhouse on Turkey Hill Road. This farmhouse later became the model for Martha Stewart’s TV studio.

In 1976, Martha started a catering business with a friend from her modeling days Norma Collier. The business did well at first but their partnership soured when Collier complained that Martha was hard to work with and was taking catering jobs on the side. Martha ended up buying out Collier’s share of the business. She also managed a gourmet food store called the Market Basket but she had a disagreement with the owners and left to start her store.

Meanwhile, Andrew was climbing the ranks in the publishing world. He became the president of a big publisher in New York City and was responsible for releasing a popular book series called The Secret Book of Gnomes. At a party for the book release, Martha’s talent for cooking and hosting caught the attention of Alan Mirken a big shot at Crown Publishing Group. He approached Martha to create a cookbook based on her parties which became her first book called “Entertaining.”

After the success of “Entertaining,” Martha released many more books and became a well-known figure in homemaking through her newspaper columns magazine articles, and TV appearances.

Martha and Andrew split up in 1987 and divorced in 1990. In 1990 Martha partnered with Time Publishing Ventures to launch a new magazine called Martha Stewart Living where she served as editor-in-chief. The magazine became very popular reaching over 2 million copies per issue at its peak in 2002.

In 1993, Martha started a TV show based on her magazine which later expanded to weekdays and became a hit. She also appeared on other TV shows and starred in holiday specials.

Martha Stewart became a major figure in American culture and in 1999 her company Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia went public making her a billionaire on paper and the first self-made female billionaire in the United States.

Net Worth

Martha Stewart has an estimated net worth of $400 Million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. The main source of Martha Stewart’s net worth mainly comes from her lifestyle and media company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. She made money through her TV shows, magazines, books, and product lines. Her brand’s success and various business ventures have made her wealthy.

Her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, went public in 1999, propelling her to billionaire status. In 2004, legal issues surrounding insider trading caused her stock value to plummet, significantly reducing her net worth.

Personal life

Martha Stewart Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Martha Stewart’s personal life has been quite eventful. She got married in 1961 to Andrew Stewart who was studying at Yale Law School at the time. Their daughter Alexis was born in 1965. However, their marriage didn’t last and they split up in 1987 before officially divorcing in 1990.

After her divorce, Martha dated Anthony Hopkins briefly but ended things after watching him play Hannibal Lecter in “The Silence of the Lambs.” She just couldn’t separate the actor from the creepy character.

Later on, she had a long on-and-off relationship with Charles Simonyi a billionaire who used to work at Microsoft. He even appeared on her TV show in 2007 as a space tourist. However, they eventually broke up around 2008.

Martha is fond of animals. She has Chow Chow dogs French Bulldogs Himalayan cats a pony named Ben Chunch and Friesian horses. When her daughter told her about fur farming she stopped wearing real fur.

Her mother Martha Kostyra passed away in 2007 at the age of 93. She was known as “Big Martha” to the family and had been on Martha Stewart’s show multiple times.

Martha Stewart lives in Katonah New York and also has a huge house in Seal Harbor Maine called Skylands. This property used to belong to Edsel Ford and is famous for its gardens designed by Jens Jensen back in 1922.

In a surprising twist, it was revealed in 2020 on “Finding Your Roots” that Martha Stewart and Jimmy Kimmel are cousins.

Stock trading case

Martha Stewart Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) found that Martha Stewart avoided losing $45673 by selling her ImClone Systems stock on December 27, 2001, based on secret information from her broker Peter Bacanovic. The next day the stock’s value dropped by 16%.

After this Stewart faced a lot of media attention and criticism. For instance, during an interview on CBS, she dodged questions about ImClone saying she wanted to talk about her salad instead. Eventually, she resigned from her position on the board of directors of the New York Stock Exchange.

In 2003, Stewart was accused of crimes related to securities fraud and obstructing justice. She stepped down as CEO but stayed on as the chief creative officer. She went to trial in 2004 and was found guilty leading to a five-month prison sentence and a fine.

Stewart also faced a civil case and had to pay back the money she saved from her stock sale along with additional penalties. She was also banned from certain roles in public companies for five years. Additionally, she had trouble traveling to the UK due to her criminal record.

Stewart served her prison sentence in West Virginia away from her preferred locations and was released in 2005. She then had to spend time under supervision and restrictions before fully completing her legal obligations.

Current projects

Martha Stewart Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

After getting out of jail in March 2005 Martha Stewart made a big comeback. She got back into her Martha Stewart Living business and expanded her Martha Stewart Everyday line at Kmart. She also started selling home furnishings and paint at Sears. But her biggest return was on TV. She started hosting The Martha Stewart Show and joined a version of The Apprentice. Both shows started in September 2005 and were produced by Mark Burnett. Her version of The Apprentice didn’t do well and got canceled after one season.

In October 2005, Stewart released a new book called The Martha Rules about starting a business. Then a month later she released a book on baking. In October 2006, she released a book about keeping a house tidy. She also started giving cooking crafts and gardening tips on NBC’s Today show. Her daily talk show was nominated for six Daytime Emmy Awards in 2006.

Her company also started building houses with her name on them in North Carolina. They planned to build 650 homes with prices ranging from low to mid-$400000s. She also launched a line of products for Macy’s and started a radio show with Sirius. She even appeared on TV shows like Ugly Betty and made deals for her own wine brand and food line with Costco.

In 2008, her craft items started selling in Walmart stores. Then in 2010 her TV show moved to the Hallmark Channel but got canceled in 2012. She started a new show called Martha Bakes and made an appearance on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

She continued her TV career with Martha Stewart’s Cooking School on PBS in 2012. In 2014, she partnered with eBay for an online store promoting American-made products. In 2016 she started a show with Snoop Dogg called Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party.

In 2018 and 2019, she appeared on shows like Chopped and The Ellen DeGeneres Show and she joined a Canadian marijuana company as an adviser. In 2020, she started a gardening show called Martha Knows Best. She also launched a line of CBD gummies and a podcast in 2022. Recently she made headlines for appearing on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue at 81 years old making her the oldest model to ever grace the cover.