Billionaire Leonard Lauder, the 80-year-old son of cosmetics legend Estée Lauder, was supposed to wed Linda E.Johnson the weekend of Aug. 17 – but dramatically called it off almost at the last minute.
Lauder and Johnson, the 55-year-old president and CEO of the Brooklyn Public Library, had planned to marry in front of an intimate group of family and friends in Philadelphia. But Lauder, the chairman emeritus of the Estée Lauder Co. who is worth an estimated $8 billion, and Johnson called guests just a few weeks before the big day to say it was being “postponed.”
Despite their decision not to wed, the couple is apparently still together and vacationed on what would have been their honeymoon in Sardinia.
“They have been telling people the wedding is postponed,” a source told the New York Post,“but as of now, a new date has not been set.
“Some people assumed that Leonard and Linda had not reached an agreement on a prenup in time for the wedding, but in fact the prenup had already been signed a while ago… They have been having a few ups and downs, and perhaps he feels it is ‘too soon’ after Evelyn.”
Lauder lost his beloved wife Evelyn, whom he married in 1959, in November 2011. She had two sons with him, and worked for more than 50 years for Estée Lauder and helped create the pink ribbon for cancer awareness.
Lauder began publicly dating Johnson in late 2012, and by May the couple was talking about marriage, disappointing many single society ladies who were eyeing him as “New York’s most eligible bachelor.”
The wedding had been planned for Philadelphia because it’s the hometown of Johnson, a lawyer who was president and CEO of the National Constitution Center before joining the library.
Another friend of the couple explained, “They were barreling towards a wedding date that was too ambitious, and they wanted to take a breath. The whole thing was too fast and too breathless.”
A noted philanthropist, Lauder is co-founder and chairman of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a trustee of The Aspen Institute, chairman of The Aspen Institute International Committee, and a member of the President’s Council of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In April, he donated his collection of 78 pieces of Cubist painting, consisting of 33 pieces by Pablo Picasso, 17 by Georges Braque, 14 by Fernand Léger, and 14 by Juan Gris, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Today Estée Lauder operates several brands in the cosmetics industry including Estée Lauder, Clinique, MAC Cosmetics, Aveda, Bobbi Brown, and La Mer.