Women of Valor

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Legacy

Beatrice Alexander, 1895 - 1990

In the years after Alexander's retirement, the Alexander Doll Company floundered under its new management, despite the production of many new and highly-praised dolls. In 1995, on the edge of bankruptcy, the Company was acquired by the Kaizen Breakthrough Partnership. With new management and production methods, it has regained its footing.

Beatrice Alexander's achievements over a lifetime were prodigious. In an era when high-powered businesswomen were a rarity, she created—virtually single-handedly—a company that became large, profitable, and long-lived. A gifted designer with an unerring eye for what would appeal to her customers, she demonstrated instinctive business acumen. She also contributed significantly to the creation of the American toy industry, a business sector previously dominated by Germany. The toy industry continues to recognize Alexander's accomplishments even after her death, inducting her in February 2000 into the American Toymakers Hall of Fame. Today, rare Alexander dolls can fetch thousands of dollars from those eager to expand their collections.

But Alexander was more than just a businesswoman. As a generous philanthropist, she serves as a valuable example for others fortunate enough to enjoy similar means. She also took on an almost mythic position in the eyes of many of those who purchased her dolls; customers adored not only the dolls but also their creator. A "Madame Alexander" doll now memorializes the legendary doll maker, whose dolls and own experiences continue to inspire new generations of both children and adults. As collector Pat Burns comments, "There were no 'glass ceilings' for this lady—just the role model I wanted for my daughter!"

Notes: 
  1. Pat Burns quote from "I Remember Madame," Doll Reader, August 1988: 69.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Women of Valor - Beatrice Alexander - Legacy." (Viewed on April 17, 2014) <http://jwa.org/womenofvalor/alexander/legacy>.