Martha Stewart is a household name. Whether you associate her with waffles and blueberry muffins or the ImClone Systems insider trading scandal, one thing’s for sure–everyone has heard of her. Here are 10 interesting tidbits you may or may not have heard about Martha Stewart.
1. She Trained Herself to Cook
Although her mother taught her how to cook and bake as a young child, Martha Stewart perfected her craft by reading Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. From there, she started a catering business from her basement in the late ’70s, and by the late ’80s, Martha Stewart, Inc. had turned into a million dollar business with some very high-profile clients.
FYI, Stewart has a bachelor’s degree in European and architectural history.
2. She Loves Drinking… Buttermilk
Buttermilk–the liquid left after butter has been separated from cream–has many uses in the kitchen. From breakfast staples like pancakes and biscuits to dinnertime favorites like crispy fried chicken and batter-fried fish fillets, buttermilk can help you churn out recipes that leave your guests hungry for more.
In fact, two of Martha Stewart’s favorite summer recipes are buttermilk biscuits and fried chicken marinated in buttermilk and cayenne pepper. But, the business mogul admits to enjoying buttermilk in a not-so-traditional way. According to MarthaStewart.com, she likes drinking it straight from the carton. Her favorite things to pair with a carton of buttermilk? Pickles and liverwurst!
3. The First Female Self-Made Billionaire
According to Inc.com, Martha Stewart is the first female self-made billionaire. Although her net worth in April 2017 was $300 million, Martha Stewart’s empire of books, magazines, talk shows, housewares and real estate once grew to $2 billion. According to biography.com, her net worth more than tripled while she was incarcerated in 2004 in connection with an insider trading scandal. In 2005, while still incarcerated, she made the Forbes rich list.
4. New Jersey Hall of Fame Inductee
A native of New Jersey, Martha Stewart was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2011. Inductees are typically people who have overcome adversity.
According to njhalloffame.org, the selection process is as follows:
1. Residents of New Jersey are invited to recommend deserving New Jerseyans at any time, year round. Public recommendations will be taken into consideration by the selection committee when determining the top 100 nominees.
2. The selection committee determines a list of 100 potential nominees by October 1.
3. The New Jersey Hall of Fame Academy narrows the master list down to 50 by November 1.
4. The public is invited to vote on the final nominations from November 1 through the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
5. The individuals receiving the most votes in each category are automatically inducted.
6. The Board will then deliberate to determine who else should be inducted for that given year.
7. Voting closes and inductees are announced in January.
8. Honorees will be formally inducted in a red carpet ceremony on the first Sunday in May.
5. All Work and No Play
Martha Stewart is known for work ethic. Rumor has it she sleeps with the lights on so she can get right to work when she wakes up. She only sleeps four hours every night, but manages to get in a catnap here and there. Even during sleep she finds a way to stay productive. She was once quoted as saying, “I catnap now and then, but I think while I nap, so it’s not a waste of time.”
6. She Can Talk to Animals
Move over Dr. Dolittle. There’s a new pet whisperer in town!
Animal lover Martha Stewart told Suburban Life Magazine that she speaks to her animals in a special language she uses only with them. “I speak to my horses in a horse language, my dogs in a dog language, my birds in a bird language,” she said. However, there was nothing said to indicate whether or not they actually talk back :-).
Stewart owns several animals–cats, dogs, canaries, donkeys, horses, chickens, turkeys, and geese–and gets up early in the morning to feed them.
7. Before “Martha Stewart” Became a Household Name…
Celebrities start out as “regular people” just like the rest of us. Many of them come from humble beginnings, and Martha Stewart is no exception. Growing up in the working-class community of Nutley, New Jersey, Stewart took babysitting jobs and planned birthday parties for the neighborhood kids. At age 13, she began modeling and continued to do so to put herself through college. Six years later she went on to have a successful career as a stockbroker for a small firm. Then, in 1976 she started a catering business in the basement of the home. Her then-husband Andy Stewart purchased the home in Westport, Connecticut. It was this business that helped catapult her into international fame.
8. She’s Loves Rap Music
If you’ve ever watched her talk show, you know, or probably guessed, that Martha Stewart is a big fan of rap. Many rappers made guest appearances on her talk show, including LL Cool J, Q-Tip, Ludacris, and Snoop Dogg. Her talk show debuted in 2005 and ran through 2012. Some noteworthy moments from her show include her making origami with Ludacris, cooking breakfast with LL Cool J, interviewing Big Boi and his mother, and making Q-Tips boxes with Q-Tip. Stewart also launched a cooking show with Snoop Dogg in the fall of 2016 that aired on VH1 network.
FYI, her favorite rapper happens to be Eminem.
9. Plagued by Legal and Personal Woes
No celebrity, or any human being for that matter, is without blemish. However, it seems that celebrities often have more than their fair share of drama. Here’s a timeline of just SOME of the drama associated with Martha Stewart:
2002 – Under investigation for selling shares of ImClone Systems one day prior to a company announcement that caused its stock to plummet
2003 – Charged with securities fraud, obstruction of justice, conspiracy, and making false statements to prosecutors and the FBI
2004 – Found guilty on two counts of making false statements, one count of obstruction of justice, and one count of conspiracy; sentenced to five months in prison, five months home confinement, and two years’ probation; fined $30,000
2006 – Agreed to pay $195,000 to settle an insider trading probe with the SEC; barred from serving as CEO or CFO of any public company for five years
2011 – Daughter Alexis criticizes Stewart’s parenting skills in her book Whateverland: Learning to Live Here
2012 – Sued by Macy’s for breach of contract
2013 – Appeared in New York State Supreme Court to defend her decision to sign a deal with J.C. Penney despite already having a contract with rival store Macy’s
10. She Has a Favorite Ink Pen
The LePen by Marvy Uchida is a Martha Stewart fave. The LePen, Uchida’s most popular ink pen, ranges in price from $1.69 to $17.40. The pen boasts an acid-free, non-toxic, smudge-proof ink and is available in 18 colors. According to uchida.com, the LePen is “good for business forms, notebooks, diaries, memo pads, letters, journals, yearbooks, and scrapbooks.”
Stewart’s favorite LePen colors are black, blue, and brown, although she sometimes uses red around the holidays.
So there you have it. As you can see there’s some pretty interesting stuff most of us probably didn’t know about Martha Stewart. Do you know any other facts about the lifestyle guru you think should be included on this list? Let us know in the comments section below.