On November 4, 1970, Bethenny Frankel was born in New York City to a horse trainer father and interior designer mother. Famous as one of the Real Housewives of New York City, she is also known for her successful multi-million dollar company, Skinnygirl. The business savvy entrepreneur has recently been making headlines not for the latest housewives drama, but for her inspirational work helping natural disaster victims. With her B-Strong program, created to help women and families in crisis, Frankel helped out natural disaster victims in Puerto Rico, Houston, Florida, and Mexico City.
Working with the disaster relief charity, Delivering Good, Frankel personally secured planes to distribute bank cards, gift cards and supplies to victims in Puerto Rico. To date, she has helped raise over $500,000 for the gift card program and it is estimated that her efforts will generate close to $4 million worth of help. She explained what motivated this charity work, saying, “You can’t wait for someone to tell you what you’re allowed to do when people are dying — you just gotta go.”
Although a great success story today, Frankel struggled during her formative years. Her parents divorced when she was four years old and frequent moves as a child left her feeling rootless into her teen years.
Frankel graduated from New York University and moved to Hollywood to kickstart an acting career. Although always the quintessential go-getter, she failed to land any on-camera gigs. She returned to New York City to study at the Natural Gourmet Institute in 2002 and launched a healthy cookie business that led to her reality TV stardom.
In 2005, she was selected as a competitor for the show, “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart,” and she proved to be a TV natural. Then, in 2008, Frankel became a household name with her debut on the Bravo show, “The Real Housewives of New York City” and subsequent spin-offs “Bethenny Getting Married?” and “Bethenny Ever After.” Audiences fell in love with her witty one-liners and “real talk,” as well as her fearless vulnerability.
Riding off the success of her new found reality TV fame, Frankel created her own brand, Skinnygirl. The brand started with premixed cocktails, including her signature margarita, but has expanded to everything from candy and coffee to lunch meat.
Happy 47th Birthday, Bethenny! Let’s all toast a Skinnygirl marg (or spritzer) in her honor… and find ways to follow her lead in helping others in need.