Ralph Lauren

Famous Entrepreneur


Original name: Ralph Lifshitz

Born on: October 14, 1939 in New York, New York

Family: Third of four siblings, Mother and Father were Jewish immigrants

Lifestyle: At 16, Ralph and his brother, Jerry, were teased about their last name, later changed it to Lauren

Education: Attended DeWitt Clinton High and later Baruch College, where he studied business for two years

Company Background

When and Where: 1967 while working as Brooks Brothers salesman

What: Designed own men's necktie and branded them under the name "Polo", converted rags into neckties

How: With the help of a $30,000 loan, expanded to a full line of clothing

Why: Wanted to create his own neckties, but the company thought it was a joke

What the company sells: At first only neckties, in 1972 released t-shirts and the first collection for women, recently sells home furnishings, and children's wear

Stores: nearly 13,000 worldwide

Sales: In 2015 sales rose to $7.62 billion

Promotions: The company spends nearly $270 million dollars on advertisement and promotions

Skills and Traits

Persistent: company blew off his idea and left to start his own

Creative: created neckties out of rags

Independent: created the entire company without any help

Risk-taking: he didn't know his neckties would sell, but someone had bought 100