Martha Helen Stewart (born Martha Helen Kostyra August 3, 1941) is an entrepreneur and television personality. She is a 1959 graduate of Nutley High School, in Nutley, NJ. It should come as no surprise that Stewart was a busy high school student, participating in Art Club, Latin Club, Future Nurses of America, and bowling, among other activities.
Early on, it was apparent that Stewart had talents in multiple areas as well as an aptitude for business. She and a friend started a catering company in 1976, and Stewart soon took it over. She was introduced to a publisher while catering a book release party, which led to the eventual publication of her first book (Entertaining) in 1982. Many other books followed, including Martha Stewart’s Quick Cook, Weddings, and Martha Stewart’s Christmas.
In 1990, Stewart launched Martha Stewart Living, a magazine focused on lifestyle and domestic arts topics. In 1993, she premiered a television series with the same name, which ran until 2005. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, her media and merchandising company, was founded in 1997. Despite a brief scandal (and subsequent prison sentence) involving the sale of stock, Stewart’s empire survived. She launched a new daytime TV series, called the Martha Stewart Show (later called Martha), which ran from 2005 to 2012, and published several new books. Over the years, Stewart’s name has been attached to a wide range of merchandise, from women’s clothing to bedding to wine. A new cooking series, Martha Stewart’s Cooking School, premiered in 2012. Stewart also hosts a cooking show with Snoop Dogg, called Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party, which premiered in 2016.