Eileen Ford, regarded as the inventor of the modern modeling business, has died. She was 92.
Ford founded Ford Models with her husband Jerry in 1946. The two split the duties, with Eileen finding the talent while Jerry ran the business side of things. Ford Models transformed modeling from a part-time hobby to a sophisticated occupation, giving Candice Bergen, Lauren Hutton, Brooke Shields, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, and Rachel Hunter their starts.
While her track record wasn't perfect — she rejected Grace Kelly — Ford took responsibility for the rise of the American model. "There's no question I did that," Ford told People in 1983. "I create a look and I create a style." She wanted only the best for her models, and treated them like her own children. "Many stayed with her and her family in their Manhattan town house at East 78th Street," author Robert Lacey said. "With her husband Jerry she worked to improve models' working conditions and wages."