NEW YORK – Founder of the Pink Ribbon campaign to raise awareness about breast cancer, Evelyn Lauder, has died, aged 75, at her home in New York.

Founder of Pink Ribbon campaign, Evelyn Lauder, diesLauder, and her husband Leonard Lauder, an executive the Estee Lauder cosmetics company, began the campaign in 1992 with the “pink ribbons” given to women at the Estee Lauder department store counters as a reminder about breast cancer.

That small start grew into US$330 million in donations to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which Lauder started, and the month of October being designated Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City was opened in 2009.

Born in 1936 in Vienna, Austria, Evelyn Lauder nee Hausner, fled Nazi-occupied Europe with her parents to settle in the United States. She met her husband, the elder son of Estee Lauder and whose family owned what was then a small cosmetics company, as a college freshman.

In 2007, Lauder was diagnosed with cancer but continued to appear at breast cancer awareness events around the world.