How rich is Leonard Lauder?
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Leonard A. Lauder (created March 19, 1933) is an American businessman. He’s the chairman emeritus of The Este Lauder Companies Inc. He was chief executive until 1999. Now Este Lauder runs several brands in the cosmetic sector including Este Lauder, Clinique, MAC Cosmetics, Aveda, Bobbi Brown, Smashbox and La Mer.
Lauder is certainly a leading benefactor of the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 1971, he joined the museum’s acquisitions board as well as in 1977, by then president of his family’s company, he became a Whitney trustee. He’s contributed both money and several works of art to the Whitney, and is the museum’s most prolific fundraiser. His 2008 contribution to it of $131 million is the biggest in the museum’s history. Through the Leonard and Evelyn Lauder Fund, he and his wife also have sponsored several exhibits in the Whitney. The fifth floor permanent collection galleries are named for the couple. Most recently Lauder gave $131 million for the Whitney’s endowment. A longtime supporter of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, Lauder directed the introduction of a research center for Contemporary artwork in the museum, which he helped support through a $22 million endowment made alongside museum trustees as well as other benefactors. It’s been described by William Acquavella, of Acquavella Galleries, as “without doubt the main set any private individual has put together in many, many years,”