Ruth Handler (November 4, 1916 - April 27, 2002) was an American businessman, was born of Jewish-Polish immigrants Jacob and Ida Moskowicz, president of the toy manufacturer Mattel Inc., and is remembered mainly for his role in marketing the Barbie doll.
Her husband, Elliot Handler and his business partner, Harold "Matt" Matson, formed a small company to manufacture picture frames, calling it "Mattel" by combining parts of their names ("Matt" and "Elliot"). Then, they began to use the rest of the manufacturing process to make dollhouse furniture. This furniture is more profitable than the picture frame and it was decided to concentrate on toy manufacturing. The company's first big seller was "Uke-a-doodle", a toy ukulele.
Barbie: the beginning
Ruth Handler had noted that her daughter Barbara, who became the pre-teen, playing with paper dolls like babies and giving them adult roles. He wanted to produce a plastic doll with an adult body but her husband and Mr Matson thought would not sell. But when the Handlers were on the European trip, Ruth Handler saw the German Bild Lilli doll (which is not intended for children at all, but a gag gift for adults) in Swiss shop and take it home.
Once home, he reworked the design of her Barbie dolls and renamed after his daughter. Barbie debuted at the New York toy fair on March 12, 1959. Barbie became an instant success, rocketing the Handlers and their toy company toward fame and fortune. Next they will add a boyfriend for Barbie named Ken, after Handler's son, and many other "friends and family" for the world of Barbie.
Handler was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1970. He had a modified radical mastectomy, which is often used at the time to fight this disease, and because of the difficulty in finding a good breast prosthesis, she decided to make my own. Handler went on to found a company, Ruthton Corp, formed by and Peyton Massey, which produced a more realistic version of the female breast, called "Nearly Me".
Although Handlers take a more hands-off approach to their company's business practices after stepping down, they still continue to create more ideas. One project Handler took in the 1980s Barbie and the Rockers is. He is credited as the author of Barbie and the Rockers Film 1987: From This World. Handler has been named to the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1997.
She died in California from complications of colon cancer surgery on April 27, 2002, aged 85.