by Yona Zeldis McDonough

Remembering Georgette Klinger

Georgette Klinger, nee Eckstein, died on January 9, 2004 at the age of 88. The porcelain-skinned former beauty contest winner and Czech emigre opened her own beauty salon in 1941 on Madison Avenue, which she later turned into a mini empire, with salons in nine American cities. My own connection with Ms. Klinger (I always think of her as Ms Klinger) was brief but memorable. I had interviewed her over the phone in 1986 for an article that culled financial tips from successful, high-profile women. When the article appeared—in Cosmopolitan—I sent her a copy. Within days, I received a phone call from her personal secretary. Klinger had “adored” my article and was inviting me to lunch. Klinger greeted me in a restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Then in her seventies, she was slim and striking in a chic suit, her artfully coiffed and colored golden hair curling buoyantly around her shoulders. Her pet poodle Pushka sat in a roomy Louis Vuitton case at her feet.

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