NEW YORK — Estelle Ellis Rubinstein, a magazine veteran who helped launch Seventeen in 1944, died Sunday at her home in Manhattan, after battling lung cancer. She was 92.
After working for Popular Science, Design for Living and Click magazines, Ellis Rubinstein helped Seventeen’s founding editor in chief, Helen Valentine, to publish Seventeen. In 1950, Ellis Rubinstein moved with Valentine to Street-Smith publications to launch Charm, a magazine that positioned working women as a separate market segment. Charm was later incorporated into Glamour magazine.
Ellis Rubinstein conducted and wrote the first market research studies to establish working women and teenage girls as distinct and economically powerful markets, according to her daughter, Nora Rubinstein. A few years later, Ellis Rubinstein and her husband Sam started a creative marketing firm, Business Image. In her own words, it was dedicated to “helping business understand the impact of social change on business trends.” They worked with publishing industry clients such as Glamour, Vogue and Elle.
Ellis Rubinstein served on the board of Phillips-Van Heusen Corp. in the late Sixties and early Seventies. In her 70s, Ellis Rubinstein turned her attention to books and art, publishing “At Home with Books: How Booklovers Live With and Care for Their Libraries,” “At Home with Art: How Art Lovers Live With and Care for Their Treasures,” and “The Booklover’s Repair Kit: First Aid for Home Libraries.”
She donated a significant portion of her professional archives to the Smithsonian and the Rochester Institute of Technology. The Estelle Ellis Collection, 1944-1994, is available to researchers in the Archives Center of the National Museum of American History.
Ellis Rubinstein is survived by her son Ellis and his wife Joanna; her daughter Nora and her husband Herb Childress; grandchildren Nathalie and Nanna, and her great-granddaughter Rebecca.