HANDLER, Ruth, American entrepreneur, 1917-2002. The co-founder of Mattel Toy Corp., (in 1955), which produced the Barbie Doll in 1959. This had the biggest worldwide doll sales ever. Her husband was the other founder of the company. They advertised the product direct to children, using the medium of TV. Then in 1970, when she had breast cancer and surgery Ruth then concentrated on how to help other women who had needed a mastectomy. First she developed an artificial breast for herself, then founded a company called Ruthon Corp. This company then made custom designed breast prostheses, which looked very realistic, which Ruth referred to as being ‘nearly me’.
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