Leonard Lauder on his Memoir, The Company I Keep, My Life in Beauty

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Evelyn & Leonard Lauder with their sons William and Gary and their young families in Palm Beach, 1998. Photo credit: Stephen Leek.

Last November, The Estée Lauder Companies celebrated the launch of its Chairman Emeritus and former CEO, Leonard A. Lauder’s highly anticipated memoir, The Company I Keep: My Life in Beauty (HarperCollins, 2020).

In the book, available at the Classic Bookshop in Palm Beach, Mr. Lauder recounts his extraordinary life, from growing up in New York City during the Great Depression, to helping his mother and the company’s founder, Mrs. Estée Lauder, grow her business into the global powerhouse it is today.

Along with keen insights from his time in the beauty industry, Mr. Lauder also shares his takeaways in leadership, accountability and collaboration from his time in the U.S. Navy, how he developed his passions for art and postcard collecting and his approach to transformative philanthropy.

“The process of writing this memoir has been so meaningful to me, and above all, has reminded me of all the outstanding people I’ve been surrounded by my entire life. The Company I Keep provides an overview of my journey and that of this incredible Company, the one I grew up with and one that continues to inspire me day in and day out,” said Mr. Lauder.

L. to r.: A young Leonard Lauder with his mother Estée Lauder in Miami, circa 1940; Leonard Lauder during his time in the U.S. Navy, 1955, an experience he says gave him a Ph.D. in hands-on leadership. Photos courtesy of the Lauder Family.

An early 1940’s advertisement for Estée Lauder’s Luxurious Vacation Kit. Photo courtesy of The Estée Lauder Companies Archives.
Leonard Lauder researching new postcards for his collection at the Metropolitan postcard Show at the Prince George Hotel in New York in the 1970s. Photo credit: John L. Kowalak.
Evelyn & Leonard Lauder on a trip to Paris in 1961 when he purchased his first important work of art. Photo courtesy of the Lauder Family.
Ronald Lauder with Carol Philips, who helped create the highly successful skincare brand, Clinique, outside The Estée Lauder Companies’ headquarters on Fifth Avenue in 1972. Photo credit: Tony Palmieri, WWD.
Mrs. Estée Lauder with grandson, William Lauder, now executive chairman of The Estée Lauder Companies, celebrating the launch of the Origins brand with team members at Bergdorf Goodman in New York, 1990. Photo credit: The Estée Lauder Companies Archives.
Leonard Lauder and son William Lauder with M.A.C. Cosmetics Co-founder Frank Angelo, and VIVA GLAM Spokespeople  RuPaul and k.d. Lang in New York City, circa 1995. Photo credit: The Estée Lauder Companies Archives.
William Lauder with his daughters, Rachel and Danielle, and his partner Lori Kanter Tritsch with her daughters, Alexandra and Samantha, in Palm Beach. Photo credit: Stephen Leek.
Judy Glickman and Leonard Lauder (prior to their marriage in 2015) at the opening of Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2014. Photo credit: Don Pollard.

Last week, Beauty Industry Insider George Ledes interviewed Mr. Lauder via Zoom for The Society of the Four Arts. In their moving conversation, Mr. Lauder revealed some of his earliest memories of coming to Florida as a child and his life in Palm Beach. Click below to view!

For more information on the book, please visit www.TheCompanyIKeepBook.com and follow the book’s InstagramTwitter, and Facebook pages for updates and more.

All author proceeds from the sales of the book will be donated to charity.

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