Beauty products pioneer Estee Lauder dead at 97: report WASHINGTON (AFP) - Estee Lauder, who over decades built a multi-million-dollar cosmetics empire with thousands of employees, has died at the age of 97. Her son Leonard Lauder told the newspaper Lauder died of cardiopulmonary arrest. She died Saturday at her home on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, The NY Times said. The company bearing her name was estimated to be worth more than two billion dollars when it went public in 1995, The Times reported. In 2003, it had 21,500 employees and sales of 5.12 billion dollars, the newspaper said. Its products are sold in more than 130 countries across five continents.