Courtesy of Entrepreneur

"My whole philosophy of Barbie was that, through the doll, the little girl could be anything she wanted to be. Barbie always represented the fact that a woman has choices."

363: Ruth Handler

Invented Barbie and Co-Founded Mattel Toy Company

Born: 4 November 1916, Denver, Colorado, United States of America

Died: 27 April 2002, Los Angeles, California, United States of America

Ruth served as president of Mattel for several of its most successful years. One of her more ingenious moves was to pay $500,000, otherwise calculated as the entire value of Mattel, to sponsor the Mickey Mouse Club. Her high stakes gamble paid off, and Barbara became the first toy manufacturer to successfully market directly to children instead of their parents.

As a survivor of breast cancer, she also founded Nearly Me which creates realistic looking breast prostheses.

When Handler died over a billion Barbies had been sold in 150 countries.

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