Kathy Ireland: From The Cover Of Sports Illustrated To The Cover Of Forbes Magazine

Florence Carmela

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Entrepreneur Kathy IrelandJonathan Exley

She went from being an iconic supermodel of the 80's and 90's, on the cover of Sports Illustrated to a major entrepreneur and business mogul on the cover of Forbes Magazine. She is one of the most accomplished, influential and wealthiest women in the world.

Her career trajectory began when Kathy Ireland was only sixteen years old when she was signed to a well-known professional modeling agency after being discovered at her high school by Elite Model Management.

She is one of the first supermodels and is known for appearing in a record 13 consecutive Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues, including 3 as their cover model.

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Kathy Ireland Sports Illustrated Cover, 1992Kathy Ireland / Instagram

She has also appeared on the covers of several of the world's top fashion magazines including; Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Shape Fitness, Harper's Bazaar, Mademoiselle, Teen and Seventeen.

During Sports Illustrated swimsuit's 50th Anniversary event, Kathy Ireland's 1989 cover was awarded "The Greatest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover Of All Time" by the publisher.

In 1993, she founded a brand licensing company, Kathy Ireland Worldwide (kiWW). According to Forbes Magazine "Supermodel turned mogul Kathy Ireland built a licensing empire by lending her name, taste and marketing prowess to more than 17,000 products."

"Her company, Kathy Ireland Worldwide (kiWW), which licenses a variety of products, is ranked by License Global magazine at number 15 in the world, which is the highest rank of any American woman owned business in history. We chatted with Ireland, now 58, about how her time at SI Swimsuit prepared her for the business world and what she considers her greatest success." Taken from Sports Illustrated Swimsuit.

Kathy Ireland is also an accomplished author. Her first novel "Fashion Jungle," based on true-life events from her storied career in the modeling industry.

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Kathy Ireland Forbes Magazine, 2012Michael Grecco

''However, her modeling career is only a small piece of Kathy, and one she left behind more than a decade ago. She's also a longtime Christian (she became a believer at age 18) committed to growing in her faith and serving others—a journey that has been slow but steady.

"I'm a late bloomer," she admits. "I remained a baby Christian for a long time. Fortunately, God is faithful even when we mess up. Today my goal is that my life will be in line with his will, not my own."

That commitment is an integral part of Kathy's current roles as wife, mother of three, and founder and CEO of Kathy Ireland Worldwide'' taken from an interview with Today's Christian Woman.

She is also known for her endless charity work, including her dedication to philanthropic activities which have included pro bono work for non-profit organizations such as; March of Dimes, PTA, Feed The Children and City of Hope.

''In addition, Ireland has lent her estates to charitable organizations such as the US Marine Corps' Toys For Tots to generate funds for charity. According to Major Bill Grein of the US Marine Corps, Ireland's company and her book business partner Bendon Publishing International donated $10 million to supplement the 2013 annual Toys for Tots gathering and distribution of Christmas gifts for millions of at-risk children and youths'' according to Wikipedia.

On World AIDS Day 2017, she donated $100,000 to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. Elizabeth Taylor, the Legendary screen actress and philanthropist, was a close, personal friend and mentor to Kathy Ireland.

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Florence Carmela is a Writer, Celebrity Interviewer and Host of The Forum Celebrity Podcast. She is Verified on @Twitter & @MuckRack

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