October 11, 1906 - August 24, 1975
Charles Revson was a famous Russian-American businessman, creator of the prominent Revlon cosmetics company.
Charles Haskell Revson was born in a famous Jewish district in Montreral, Quebec, Canada, where his parents came to from Lithuania, at that time – part of the Russian Empire.
All his life he - for whatever reasons – Revson insisted that was actually born in Boston.
Later, when Revson was still a small child, the family moved to America. Charles' grandparents had a huge influence on him, nurturing his love for style - just like they did with his other seven siblings, whom they brought up to become famous artists or creative persons after the death of the children's mother.
Charles Revson started his career at the cosmetics company Elka, where he gained experience and developed his own ideas, which he implemented in 1932, by starting a line of nail polish - only nail polish, but in a great variety of colors, sold exclusively through large department stores.
Then his newly founded company Revlon started selling lipstick. Charles became the president of the company and would hold the post until his very death in 1975.
About his business, Revson would openly say: "In the factory, we make cosmetics, and in the stores we sell hope".
Even during his life, the people who knew him would speak badly about his personal qualities. He himself, though, was never keen to deny the criticism, and once told his employee: "Darling, I built this business being a bastard. I run it like a bastard. I will always be a bastard, and you cannot change me".
Revson was married three times and brought up four children, including two adopted ones. He was a prominent philanthropist and created the Charles Revson Fund, donating a total of $78 million to the fund and giving its Board full autonomy.
Andrew Tobias. "Fire and Ice: The Story of Charles Revson - the Man Who Built the Revlon Empire, Chapter 2 – Separating Myth from Legend"