Ralph Lauren – A Rags-To-Rags Tale
Ralph Lauren is an American fashion designer and business executive best known for creating the Polo brand. Born in Bronx, New York City to Fraydl Kotlar and Frank Lifshitz – Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants from Pinsk, Belarus – Ralph was raised with Ashkenazi Jewish values by both parents.
At 16, he and his brother decided to change their last names from Lawrence to Lauren after experiencing harassment at school; however, their older sibling, Lenny maintained the family name for many years thereafter.
Early Life and Education
Ralph Lauren was born Ralph Lifshitz on October 14, 1939 in The Bronx of New York City to Frieda (Cutler) and Frank Lifshitz, Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants from Pinsk in what was then part of Poland (now Belarus). As the oldest of four siblings he attended Salanter Academy Jewish Day School, Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy and Dewitt Clinton High School before going into business himself.
After being teased about his last name, Lauren decided to change it at 16 after receiving taunts at school for keeping it. While Jerry still retained the Lifshitz name briefly. Following high school graduation he took business courses at Baruch College in Manhattan before working at Brooks Brothers as a salesman before designing and creating his own neckties line.
Ralph Lifshitz was born to Frieda and Frank Lifshitz of Pinsk, Belarus who were Ashkenazi Jews immigrating to New York City as Ashkenazi Jews from Pinsk. Growing up dirt poor in Mosholu Parkway neighborhood of Bronx he attended Salanter Academy Jewish Day School before going on to DeWitt Clinton High School where he graduated in 1957 before studying business at Baruch College Manhattan for two years, serving in The US Army before taking a sales assistant professional job at Brooks Brothers (Tie Company). Fashionably inspired by film icons like Fred Astaire and Cary Grant as teens found inspiration and influence from those icons within movies themselves he found inspiration and influence within films themselves.
Achievement and Honors
Ralph Lifshitz’s journey from poverty to riches is truly inspirational. Born Ralph Lifschitz on October 14, 1939 in New York City to parents Frank Lifschitz and Fraydl Kotlar – immigrants from Belarus and Poland respectively – at 16 he changed to Lauren with his older brother (Lenny kept the Lifshitz name), studied business at Baruch College for two years, and secured his first employment opportunity at Brooks Brothers.
Lauren was teased at school for having the last name Lifshitz as a child. To address the taunting from schoolmates and George, his guardian, changed it when Ralph turned sixteen years old; Lenny kept the Lifshitz name and attended Baruch College where he studied business for two years.
Philanthropist and owner of an extensive collection of rare automobiles such as “The Black Prince,” his 1930 Mercedes-Benz Count Trossi SSK. Additionally, he is involved with various cancer care initiatives and research initiatives.
Lauren has expanded beyond fashion into art collecting. He is best-known for his nude paintings which sell for $15,000 each and are highly prized among celebrities. Furthermore, Lauren enjoys riding horses at his private horse farm located in Westchester County New York.
Ralph Lauren was born Ralph Lifshitz in New York City to Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants from Belarus (then Pinsk, Second Polish Republic). At 16 years old he changed to Lauren due to being teased about it for years by their brother Jerry; their brother Lenny kept their original family name. Now an established fashion designer and businessman who owns his Ralph Lauren Corporation with an estimated net worth of $8 billion, Ralph Lauren Corporation features prominently at New York Fashion Week as a prominent fashion designer/businessperson as a notable fashion designer/businessman with numerous celebrity clientele among its clientele list.