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Stewart, Martha (1941–)

MARTHA KOSTYRA was born and reared in a working-class family in New Jersey. Her mother, a schoolteacher, and her father, a pharmaceutical salesman, held high standards and expectations for their children: ambition, achievement, and perfection were instilled at an early age. Martha, who married and eventually divorced Andrew Stewart, began her successful career as a model and then stockbroker. After leaving Wall Street, Stewart moved to Westport, Connecticut, and began restoration of an 1805 farmhouse that later served as the backdrop for her television appearances and programs.

Within 10 years, her catering business and specialty retail shop became a $1 million enterprise. Her first book, Entertaining, was published in 1982 and her merchandising collaboration with Kmart made Martha Stewart a household name that represented the American ...

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