Evelyn Lauder, who created breast cancer's pink ribbon, dies at 75

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Evelyn Lauder, a member of the Estee Lauder cosmetic company who helped create the pink ribbon symbol for breast cancer awareness, died Saturday in New York City.

She was 75.

Lauder died from complications of ovarian cancer at her home with her family by her side, the company said.

The Vienna, Austria, native fled Nazi-occupied Europe with her parents, eventually settling in New York City.

As a college freshman, she was introduced to the man she would marry, Leonard A. Lauder, the son of Estee and Joseph Lauder, who co-founded the cosmetics company.

Lauder joined the family business and rose to be senior corporate vice president and head of fragrance development worldwide.

Perhaps best known as an advocate for women's health, Lauder helped to create the pink ribbon, the now ubiquitous symbol for breast cancer awareness.

She is survived by her husband, two sons and five grandchildren.

“My mother carried the torch of our company heritage and the values that were passed to her by my grandmother, Mrs. Estee Lauder,“ her son, William Lauder, said in a statement.

“My mother and father were life partners as well as business partners. They nurtured the culture and growth of the Estee Lauder companies, and as we grew, my mother was our creative compass and pillar of strength. Together my family and the company celebrate the beautiful person she was.“

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