Beatrice Alexander, 1895 - 1990
"You need to believe in people's dreams, especially women's."
"Madame" Beatrice Alexander knew how to dream big. Born into a world in which many women worked but few achieved prominence in business, she built her own company virtually singlehandedly. Raised amidst teeming poverty, she amassed a significant fortune. From the obscurity of an immigrant neighborhood, she became one of the foremost female entrepreneurs of the twentieth century.
Women have always participated in business endeavors, but until recently most did so as members of a family unit. Alexander, by contrast, was the driving force behind her firm, the Alexander Doll Company, and she owed her position not to her husband or her extended family but to her own efforts and skill. Over the years, her hard work, innovative ideas, and instinctive business acumen enabled her to overcome many hurdles common to both the business world in general and women entrepreneurs more specifically.
Although Alexander's successes took her far from the Lower East Side immigrant world of her childhood, she never lost sight of those less fortunate than she. She donated substantial sums to both Jewish and non-Jewish organizations in Israel and in the United States, and she was a committed Zionist throughout her life. As a pioneering businesswomen and a generous philanthropist, Beatrice Alexander demonstrated to the world at large what a woman with drive, creativity, ambition, and a benevolent heart could accomplish.