Martha Stewart made it into the show business through her skills of home management and rose to the top as quickly as she descends after being convicted for conspiracy, obstruction of proceedings, and lying to federal investigators.
The former model turned businesswoman, and television personality has somewhat lost her relevance in Hollywood after her five-month incarceration and two-year under probation.
How Much Is Martha Stewart Worth?
Before her sentencing, Martha Stewart was one of the highest-earning women in the world, having accumulated $638 million in 2011. The Lifestyle Guru tried her hand on multiple television shows after her sentence was over, but could not influence the audiences as much as during her prime.
However, she had made a big enough dent in Hollywood that the depreciated net worth of $300 million in 2020 will see her through a life of luxury and lavishness.
She made most of her income from her enterprise called Martha Stewart Living Media which is still up and running, her career as a published author of over a dozen best sellers and host of multiple television shows namely Martha Stewart’s Cooking School, Martha Bakes, Martha Stewart’s Living, and The Martha Stewart Show.
Eye On The Spotlight At An Early Age
Martha Stewart started as a model at an early age of 15, which goes to show that her aims directed towards a life of stardom. During this period, she babysat for some players of the New York Yankees and even organized parties for the kids.
She proved herself handy around the household with the skill she picked from her family members. She learned cooking, and sewing from her mother learned her way around garden tools through her father’s passion for gardening and learned to preserve food in cans during her stay at her grandparents in Buffalo, New York.
While she attended Barnard College of Columbia University studying architectural history, Stewart modeled for Chanel to pay her college fees. She got married after meeting her husband Andrew Stewart during her brief stint as a model and took a professional hiatus afterward.
Bringing In The Big Bucks
Stewart adopted her father-in-law’s profession as a stockbroker in 1967, truly diving in as a full-time career. Later Stewart’s skill around the kitchen proved to be useful when she set up a catering business with her friend from modeling days, Norma Collier. Even though the partnership didn’t last long due to compatibility issues, the business gained success quickly, with Stewart buying all the shares of ownership and going solo.
In 1982, Stewart published her first book named Entertaining based around being a good chef and a hostess. She was persuaded to write the book by Alan Mirken, head of Crown Publishing Group, who was impressed with Stewart’s talent when it came to cooking and hosting a party.
Following the success of Entertaining, Stewart published many more books namely, Martha Stewart’s Quick Cook (1983), Martha Stewart’s Hors D’oeuvres (1984), Martha Stewart’s Pies & Tarts (1985), Weddings (1987), The Wedding Planner (1988), Martha Stewart’s Secrets for Entertaining (1988), Martha Stewart’s Quick Cook Menus (1988), and Martha Stewart’s Christmas (1989).
The success of her books brought her the offers of hosting her television shows. She has hosted shows such as The Martha Stewart Show (2005-2012), Martha Stewart’s Cooking School (2012 – present), Martha Bakes (2011 – present), Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party (2016 – present) with Snoop Dogg, and From Martha’s Home (2002 – present).
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
After successfully purchasing all her rights to television, merchandises, and printed media, Stewart, alongside her business partner Sharon Patrick consolidated the brand into Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia in 1997.
Stewart served as the chairperson, president, and CEO of the company and saw the company through to the revenue of over a billion dollars making her the first self-made female billionaire on paper.
However, the prices of the stock saw a downward trend and went down to $16 per share in 2002 from $38. Stewart owns 96% of the shares in the company.
Stewart resides in East Hampton on Lily Pond on a property that features an American Classic theme. The house sports two kitchens, a library, living room furnished and decorated with the exquisite taste of Stewart, two master bedrooms, and two guest rooms.
Stewart likes to spend her vacation in her Maine Estate called the Skylands. The house was built in 1925 as a summer home for the family of renowned automotive executive Edsel Ford of the Ford vehicles.
The house consists of 12 bedrooms scattered on a three-story building and oversees 63 acres of greenery in the middle of Mount Desert Island. Stewart bought the house in 1997 along with all the furniture and the accessories, including silverware, glassware, china, and linens. Stewart has hosted more than 100 people in the house for over 23 years.
The Trouble With The Law
In 2001, Stewart tried to avoid loss over ImClone System by selling all her shares at $45,673 after inside information about the company from Peter Bacanovic. The day after she sold the stocks, the value fell to 16%.
This came back to haunt Stewart in 2012 when she was sentenced by the government on counts of security fraud and obstruction of justice. The highly broadcasted incident that took about six weeks resulted in the incarceration of Stewart for five months and a two-year probation period, out of which she wore an ankle monitor for five months.
She was also held liable to pay a fine of $30,000, a settlement fee of $138,000 and a five-year ban from serving as a board member of any public company. She was confined in Federal Prison Camp in Alderson.
Martha Helen Kostyra was born on August 3, 1941, to Edward Kostyra and Martha Ruszkowski Kostyra in Jersey City, New Jersey. She was the second of the six children of the middle-class family of Edward and Martha. She graduated from Nutley High School and later received a degree with a double major in History and Architectural History from Barnard College of Columbia University.
She married her first husband, Andrew Stewart, at the age of 20 whom she met while she modeled for Chanel during her college years. She has a daughter Alexis with Andrew. They divorced in 1990. She later dated Sir Anthony Hopkins but split, stating that she could not dissociate the character of Hannibal Lecter apart from Hopkins.
Stewart later dated billionaire Charles Simonyi of the Microsoft Corporation. They broke up in 2008.
Martha is a supporter of PETA, and she even created a video for the organization during her stay in prison. She has also been found to support Farm Sanctuary speaking for the fair treatment of farm animals.