Stewart grew up cooking, sewing and gardening, activities she would one day parlay into an empire. During college she worked as a model but became a stockbroker after graduating. In the early 1970s, she and her family moved from New York City to the suburbs and she launched a successful catering business that spawned her first book, Entertaining, in 1982. From 1991 to 2004 she produced and hosted her own eponymous how-to show as she continued to write books, start magazines, launch lines at Kmart and appear as herself in countless TV shows and movies. In 2004, Stewart's luster was tarnished when she was convicted of four counts of obstructing justice related to insider trading and spent several months in prison. Yet the style maven remained undaunted and launched two TV shows upon her 2005 release: Martha and The Apprentice: Martha Stewart. Off screen, Stewart is an avid animal lover who owns a number of dogs, cats, canaries, donkeys, horses and chickens.

Fast Facts

  • Learned gardening from her father and cooking from her mother at an early age.
  • Was a model in the late 1950s and early '60s, appearing in ads for Tareyton cigarettes and Lifebuoy soap.
  • Named one of Glamour magazine's Best Dressed College Girls of 1961.
  • Became one of the first female stockbrokers on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in the late 1960s.
  • Was convicted of four counts of obstruction of justice in a case related to insider trading in February 2004, and ended up serving five months at a minimum-security jail and another five months of house arrest in New York.
  • Named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in 2005.
  • Is an avid animal lover who owns a number of dogs, cats, canaries, donkeys, horses and chickens.


  • Frank Kostyra — Brother
  • Eric Scott — Brother
  • Alexis Gilbert Stewart — Daughter
  • Edward Kostyra — Father
  • Andy Stewart — Ex-husband
  • Laura Kostyra Plimpton — Sister
  • George Christiansen — Brother
  • Kathy Kostyra Evans — Sister
  • Martha Kostyra — Mother
  • Charles Simonyi — Ex-significant Other


  • Barnard College, New York, New York, United States (BA in European and Architectural History, 1963)

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  • Birth Name: Martha Helen Kostyra
  • Birth Place: Jersey City, New Jersey, United States
  • Profession: TV host, Producer, Author

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