Saturday, March 31, 2012
Anne Elisabeth Jane "Liz" Claiborne (March 31, 1929 – June 26, 2007) was a Belgian-born American fashion designer and entrepreneur. Claiborne is best known for co-founding Liz Claiborne Inc. which in 1986 became the first company founded by a woman to make the Fortune 500. Claiborne was the first woman to become chairperson and CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
Claiborne was born in Brussels to American parents. She came from a prominent Louisiana family with an ancestor William C.C. Claiborne having been Governor of Louisiana during the War of 1812. In 1939, at the start of World War II, the family returned to New Orleans. She attended St. Timothy's, a boarding school then in Catonsville, Maryland and currently in Stevenson, Maryland. Rather than finishing high school, she went to Europe to study art in painters' studios. Her father did not believe that she needed an education, so she studied art informally.
Since 1991 Liz Claiborne Inc. has been working to end domestic violence. Visit it's Love Is Not Abuse website.