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Book Excerpt: Barbie and Ruth: The Story of the World’s Most Famous Doll and the Woman Who Created Her

The story of Ruth Handler, the creator of Barbie.

As she stood in the Barbie showroom at Toy Fair, Ruth Handler exuded her characteristic confidence. “One of my strengths is that I do have the courage of my convictions and the guts to take a position,” Ruth told an interviewer. “I can be very persuasive in getting others to see the light.” But her bravado began to seep away as one buyer after another made a cursory tour of the room and took off, leaving few if any orders. “For the most part, the doll was hated,” a Mattel sales rep remembered. “The male buyers thought we were out of our minds because of the breasts, and it was a male-dominated business.” By the time Lou Kieso, the buyer from Sears, walked into the smoky room, Ruth had no idea what to expect.  … Back to Article

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