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Ireland at GooglePlex, 2012
|Born||Kathleen Marie Ireland
March 20, 1963
Glendale, California, U.S.
|Residence||Santa Barbara, California, U.S.|
|Occupation||Model, actress, entrepreneur, businesswoman|
|Net worth||$420 million (Forbes 2015)|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Spouse(s)||Greg Olsen (m. 1988)|
Kathleen Marie Ireland (born March 20, 1963) is an American model and actress, turned author and entrepreneur. Ireland was a supermodel in the 1980s and 1990s, best known for appearing in 13 consecutive Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues. In 1993 she founded a brand marketing company, "kathy ireland Worldwide" (kiWW), which has made her one of the wealthiest former models in the world.
She has remained involved with various charities and non-profit organizations dedicated to education, emergency response and training for children, disease research and management, and HIV/AIDS.
In 1979, at the age of sixteen, Kathy Ireland was scouted at her high school by Elite Model Management.
As a teenager, Ireland reported that a photographer once "crossed the line" with her and wanted her to pose topless. She did not feel comfortable and he did not respect her "no." He reportedly pushed her and got physical and she "decked him."
During SI Swimsuit's 50th Anniversary event, Ireland's 1989 cover was awarded "The Greatest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover Of All Time" by its publisher.
In 1993, Kathy Ireland's name on a line of socks sold 100 million pairs and Kmart took notice, subsequently giving Ireland her own clothing line including swimwear, active wear, accessories, sweaters and more.
She then founded kathy ireland Worldwide, initially a brand marketing firm, which she and her related trusts own in its entirety. The company concentrated on building its business in home products in 2003, after it cut its exclusive ties to Kmart.
In 2004, Ireland's annual take was thought to be around $10 million. Forbes described Ireland as a "prototype for model-turned-mogul" in a 2006 article about the trend of modelpreneurs. By 2004, kathy ireland Worldwide was marketing products from 16 manufacturers, including those of Nourison and Pacific Coast Lighting. Between 2005 and 2012, products bearing Ireland's brand generated $2 billion in annual retail sales and the company became a leader in its industry. In a May 2012 British Vogue article, Ireland was called the world's richest model. In 2015 kathy ireland Worldwide was ranked #31 on License! Global magazine's Top 150 Global Licensors.
Ireland's billionaire friend and Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett advised her to enter into the home furnishings business. "Fashion and apparel is consistently changing, but in home it's more consistent," Buffett said. Buffet opens each Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting with Ireland and Bill Gates.
Ireland also designs wedding dresses and social occasion gowns. She launched her line of wedding gowns by presenting a runway fashion show at the Festival of Brides held in Disneyland Resort. Fashion is not Ireland's only venture. Sterling/Winters Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kathy Ireland Worldwide, which is the management company for multi-Grammy Award-winning artist Janet Jackson.
Ireland has branded products in many classifications including the Home, Fashion Apparel, Wedding, Fine Jewelry, Baby, Children's Toys and books, Publishing, Pet Care, Crafts and Gift markets. American Legend launched a Kathy Ireland collection consisting of 30 styles, which was featured at Macy's beginning in Fall 2011. Ireland is chief designer for Royal Footwear & Accessories (The RFA Group). She has established a relationship with manufacturer Gorham designing dinnerware, glassware and flatware.
Ireland designed a collection of jewelry inspired by Elizabeth Taylor. She welcomed Elizabeth Taylor's dogs, Gracie and Delilah, into her home, also inspirations for her collection of pet care products. Ireland launched a collection of pet products called Loved Ones, which includes furniture, bowls, collars, toys and luxury bedding. She teamed up with Worldwise Inc., a pet products company based in San Rafael, California to create the pet collection.
She spoke at the fourth Youth Assembly at the United Nations Headquarters on August 13, 2007, encouraging young people to engage in activities aimed at ending poverty. Ireland gave a keynote at the Googleplex, the corporate headquarters for Google on July 12, 2012. She delivered the keynote at Licensing International Expo 2012 in Las Vegas.
Ireland has written six books, including three for children. Her debut effort (with Laura Morton), Powerful Inspirations: Eight Lessons that Will Change Your Life, was published in 2002. Real Solutions for Busy Moms: Your Guide to Success and Sanity and Real Solutions: 52 God Inspired Messages from My Heart were published in 2009. Her children's books, Mona's Favorite Words, What Do Mommies Do? and An Angel Called Hope, were released in November 2005.
Since 1994, Ireland has published several fitness videos that led to her design of athletic apparel and launched her brand licensing of fitness equipment. Several of these were VSDA Award-winning, including Total Fitness Workout, Core Workout, Absolutely Fit, Advanced Sports Fitness, Reach and Health and Body Specifics, which was awarded Fitness Video Of The Year.
Ireland has lent her estates to charitable organizations such as the Marine Corps' Toys For Tots to generate funds for charity. According to Maj. Bill Grein, USMC (Ret), Ireland’s company and her book business partner Bendon Publishing International, the world’s largest publisher of children's books, donated $10 million to supplement the 2013 annual Toys For Tots gathering and distribution of Christmas gifts for millions of at-risk children and youths.
Ireland and NFL wide receiver Tim Brown are ambassadors for 9-1-1 For Kids, a non-profit organization that specializes in making educational materials to assist emergency dispatchers in teaching children the proper use of 9-1-1 and other general emergency preparedness tips. In an effort to encourage equality in women's athletics, Ireland has hosted several LPGA Golf Tournaments, including the Kathy Ireland Championship from 1999 to 2001 and the Kathy Ireland Greens.com LPGA Classic in 2000.
Ireland has been outspoken in her support for Israel. On October 15, 2009, she became an international ambassador for the Friends of Sheba Medical Center, traveling back to the country in 2010 to film a documentary entitled Holy Land Heroes highlighting its work for wounded soldiers and terror victims. She received the Messenger of Peace Award at the Jewish National Fund Tree of Life Gala in 2012.
Ireland was presented with an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in 2012 by the California State University System, which said she "generously uses her power and influence to benefit others, supporting social causes including empowering women, supporting young girls through mentoring, and providing opportunities for girls and women at risk." On June 23, 2011, Ireland was honored by the Anti-Defamation League with the American Heritage Award, presented by the National Home Furnishings Industry. Ireland has been nominated as one of 17 finalists for the first Global Business & Interfaith Peace Award given by the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation (a U.S.-based nonprofit), and the United Nations Global Compact Business for Peace initiative.
Forbes named Ireland one of the 20 most successful self-made women in California, and named Ireland one of Forbes top 50 most successful women as measured by their net worth. In her Today Show interview with Matt Lauer, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover model Hannah Davis stated that she strives to emulate Kathy Ireland.
In her Today Show interview, Kate Upton stated that her career was inspired by Kathy Ireland. Ireland appeared on Larry King Live in 2009 to discuss her weight gain and women's health. She had gained a pound a year for 25 years and the cumulative effect had become obvious to her in a candid photograph her son had taken.
Elizabeth Taylor and Ireland had a close friendship and attended public events together. After Ireland received outspoken criticism for her uneven performance as an on-air host of ABC's 2010 pre-Oscar special, Taylor publicly defended Ireland; "I have never seen anyone epitomize glamour and grace and professionalism like she did." Ireland publicly credits Taylor as her mentor and for part of her success in life, business, design and philanthropy. Taylor bequeathed her Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Oscar to Ireland.
Ireland has appeared in a number of television and movie roles. Her first movie, 1988's Alien from L.A., was later skewered during the fifth season of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Ireland's other appearances include Melrose Place, Boy Meets World, The Larry Sanders Show, Muppets Tonight, Side Out, Mr. Destiny, Necessary Roughness, Mom and Dad Save the World, National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1 (as Miss. Destiny Demeanor), Once Upon A Christmas, and its sequel Twice Upon A Christmas. She also appeared in the ninth season of Dancing with the Stars, where Ireland and her partner Tony Dovolani were the third couple eliminated in the second week of competition.
|1985||Charles in Charge||Woman in Line||Episode:"Snowed In"|
|1988||Alien from L.A.||Wanda Saknussemm||Motion Picture|
|1989||Journey to the Center of the Earth||Wanda Saknussemm||Motion Picture|
|1989||Worth Winning||Uncredited||Motion Picture|
|1990||Grand||Sheila||Episode: "Carnegie Hall"|
|1990||Side Out||Marie||Motion Picture|
|1990||Mr. Destiny||Gina||Motion Picture|
|1991||Necessary Roughness||Lucy Draper||Motion Picture|
|1992||Tales from the Crypt||Joyce||Episode:"Beauty Rest"|
|1992||Mom and Dad Save the World||Semage, Raff's Daughter||Motion Picture|
|1992||Danger Island||Laura||TV Movie|
|1993||Loaded Weapon 1||Destiny Demeanor||Motion Picture|
|1993||Down the Shore||Rachel||Episode:"Computer Date"|
|1993||The Larry Sanders Show||Herself||Episode:"The Breakdown: Part 1"|
|1993||Amore!||Taylor Christopher||Motion Picture|
|1993||A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Wicked Wives||Dee Morrison||TV Movie|
|1994||Boy Meets World||Alexis||Episode: "Model Family"|
|1994||Bandit: Beauty and the Bandit||Crystal||TV Movie|
|1994||Melrose Place||Brittany Maddocks||Episodes: "Grand Delusions", "In-Laws and Outlaws", "It's a Bad World After All" and "I am Curious, Melrose"|
|1995||Backfire!||Jessica Luvintryst||Motion Picture|
|1995||The Watcher||Pilot||TV Series|
|1995||Deadly Games||Amber||Episodes: "The Camp Counselor: Parts 1 & 2"|
|1996||Gridlock||Michele Conner||TV Movie|
|1995–1996||The Fantastic Four||Crystal (Voice)||Episodes: "Doomsday", "The Sentry Sinister", "Inhumans Saga: Part 3: Beware the Hidden Land" and "Inhumans Saga: Part 2: The Inhumans Among Us"|
|1996||Miami Hustle||Marsha Thomas||TV Movie|
|1997||Sabrina, the Teenage Witch||Shelley||Episode: "Trial by Fury"|
|1997||Suddenly Susan||Terri||Episodes: "Love and Divorce American Style: Part 2" and "Love and Divorce American Style: Part 3"|
|1997||Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man||Susan/Susie||Episodes: "Vuuck, as in Duck" and "Aged Heat 2: Women in Heat"|
|1996–1997||The Incredible Hulk||Ogress (Voice)||Episodes: "Fashion Warriors", "Down Memory Lane" and "Fantastic Fortitude"|
|1998||The Lionhearts||Survive (Voice)||TV Series|
|1998||King of the Hill||Sylvia||Episode: "Peggy's Pageant Fever"|
|1999||Cosby||Kara||Episode: "He Who Hesitates is Lucas"|
|1999||Pensacola: Wings of Gold||Sarah||Episode: "Tip of the Spear"|
|1999||Touched by an Angel||Karla||Episode: "The Last Day of the Rest of Your Life"|
|2000||Once Upon a Christmas||Kristen Claus||TV Movie|
|2001||Twice Upon a Christmas||Kristen Claus||TV Movie|
|2002||Strong Medicine||Amber Hutton||Episode: "Trauma"|
|2002||For Your Love||Rhonda||Episode: "The Helpless Hand"|
|2002||Totally Spies!||Julia Hastings||Episode: "A Spy is Born: Part 1"|
|2009||Family Guy||Cardboard Cut-out||Episode: "Family Goy"|
- How Kathy Ireland Built A $420 Million Fortune Forbes, Natalie Robehmed MAY 27, 2015 @ 5:24 PM.
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- Amazon page for Powerful Inspirations
- "Story Reader 3-Pack with Kathy Ireland: An Angel Called Hope, Mona's Favorite Words and What Do Mommies Do?" – via Amazon.
- "Kathy Ireland Biography". Retrieved February 2, 2015.
- "Ability Magazine: Kathy Ireland Interview with Chet Cooper and Molly Mackin" (2011)". Retrieved April 3, 2012.
- "AOL News: Kathy Ireland: The Tragic Shortfall in Down Syndrome Research" (2010)". Retrieved April 3, 2012.
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- Ryan Dedmon, Anaheim PD Communications, Dispatchers and Children Honored as 9-1-1 Heroes at Celebrity Golf Tournament, 9-1-1 Magazine, May 29, 2013.
- LPGA Tournament Chronology 1990–1999 Archived September 20, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
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- Merritte, Tanya. "ADL to honor Pasquale Natuzzi, Gary Fazio, Kathy Ireland". Furniture Today. Retrieved October 7, 2012.
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- "Mystery Science Theater 3000". TV.com. November 20, 1993. Retrieved July 31, 2008.
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