Josephine Esther Mentzer was born in New York City. Her parents, Rose Schotz, a Hungarian beauty, and Max Mentzer, a Czechoslovakian businessman who carried a cane and gloves on Sunday, called her Esty, which was changed to Estée when she enrolled in school. The name stuck, but one early detail was never officially pinned down: her birth date. “You ask my age? I tell you it simply doesn’t matter,” she’d famously say to dodge the question. “Glow,” after all—not a number—was the real essence of beauty, she believed.