On October 8, 2004, Martha Stewart reported to prison to begin serving a sentence for lying about a stock sale. Here are 5 fascinating facts you may be surprised to learn about everyone's favorite lifestyle guru...
She's America's First Self-Made Female Billionaire Women have reached billionaire status in one way or another across the world, but Stewart is the first American woman to do it on her own. She became a self-made billionaire through her own business dealings. She reached billionaire status in 1999 when she took Martha Stewart Omnimedia public. She did dip back down into millionaire status in the early 2000s (the insider-trading scandal was one factor), but she remains extremely successful and wealthy.
She Used To Babysit The Children Of Baseball Legends Martha Stewart grew up in New Jersey and worked as a babysitter when she was 10 years old like so many other kids her age do. However, she wasn't just watching the next door neighbor's children. She babysat for the children of the New York Yankees including Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra. Stewart has said many of the players lived near her hometown of Nutley, New Jersey, and children in the area were asked to watch over the players' kids. Mantle and his wife had four little boys, and Stewart not only babysat them but helped to organize their birthday parties.
She Used To Date Anthony Hopkins
Talk about a crazy story! Martha Stewart once dated Anthony Hopkins. This really shouldn't be a surprise given her connections to famous people and her business successes. She was smitten with the talented actor, but there was just one problem — she was so frightened by his character, Hannibal Lecter, and he was so convincing in his role that she had a hard time separating Hopkins the actor from Hannibal the character.
She Learned To Cook From A Famous Chef
Who was the person who started Martha Stewart on her journey in the kitchen? It was none other than Julia Child and her Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Child herself didn't teach Stewart. Instead, Stewart read through the book and taught herself to cook by using its recipes. She parlayed her cooking knowledge into a successful catering business in the 1970s and has said being told to be fearless in the kitchen was the best cooking advice she ever got.
She Once Worked On Wall Street
Stewart is known for being smart and savvy -- and for thriving in tense business environments. In the mid-1960s, she was hired as a stockbroker despite not having a broker's license or any experience on Wall Street. She became one of the few female brokers on the floor of the stock exchange and pulled in nearly $100,000 per year through the early 1970s. She had some unorthodox strategies, including wearing hot pants occasionally in meetings.