Clark, Edna McConnell

Clark, Edna McConnell

(1886–1982) philanthropist; born in Atlanta, Ga. She was born the very year her father, David Hall McConnell, founded a perfume company in California that, changing its name to Avon in 1950, would grow into the Avon Products empire, the largest cosmetics company in the world. She graduated from Smith College and married W. Van Alan Clark, who would be associated with the company for 55 years, until his death in 1976. As heir to her father's fortune and share in the company, she established the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation (1950); eventually it had an endowment of $200 million, and she took an active role in administering its generous grants to a variety of institutions and causes throughout her life.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.