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Picks and Pans Review: My Mom, Estée Lauder Her Son Remembers

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>HONORED AS THIS YEAR’S BREAST CANCER RESEARCH FOUNDATION’S ‘UNSUNG HERO,’ LEONARD LAUDER, 82, CARRIES ON HIS MOTHER’S LEGACY OF BEAUTY

Tell us about Estée: My favorite memory is of her coming home and going straight to the kitchen to cook dinner for us with her hat, business suit and heels still on. That was the summation of her personality: a great homemaker, a loving parent and always at work.

Life lessons: She taught me certain lessons of politesse. When I get home from a dinner party, I still write a thank- you note before I get undressed. And if you have something bad to say to someone, do it in person, not in a letter or e-mail.

Her passions: She had a drive to succeed and a drive for beauty. Both are interlocked. In high school she’d brush out the hair of her girlfriends and put a smudge of lipstick on their cheeks as rouge.

How she inspires the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which has raised more than $550 million to date: She felt breast cancer was, at heart, a women’s issue. And she always strove to make a difference—that’s her legacy.

PHOTOCOURTESY THE ESTEE LAUDER COMPANIES”She was a fantastic mom,” says Lauder (with his mom ca. 1933).