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Life of the Party

by Bob Kealing

She was one of the most important businesswomen of the 20th century, the prototype for all these Facebook and Google women who are leaning in.’

Before Martha Stewart and Mary Kay, there was Brownie Wise, the charismatic Tupperware executive who converted postwar optimism into a record breaking sales engine powered by ordinary housewives. Having started her own business after divorcing her alcoholic husband, the plucky Southern businesswoman caught the eye of Tupperware inventor Earl Tupper, whose plastic containers were collecting dust on store shelves.

The now legendary Tupperware Party that Wise popularised, a masterclass in the soft sell, drove Tupperware’s sales to stratospheric heights. It also gave poorly educated and economically invisible postwar women, including many African-American women, an acceptable outlet for making their own money for their families and for being rewarded for their efforts. With the people skills of Dale Carnegie, the looks of Doris Day, and the magnetism of Eva Peron, Wise was as popular among her many devoted followers as she was among the press, and in 1954 she became the first woman to appear on the cover of Business Week.

Then, at the height of her success, Earl Tupper fired her under mysterious circumstances, wrote her out of Tupperware’s success story, and left her with a pittance. He walked away with a fortune and she disappeared until now. Originally published as Tupperware Unsealed, Life of the Party is a revised and updated edition perfectly timed to take advantage of this trail-blazing dynamo returning to the spotlight where she belongs.

About Bob Kealing

Bob Kealing is a four-time Emmy Award-winning journalist. He has appeared on national television programs such as Dateline NBC and CBS This Morning and has been a guest commentator on CNN, NBC, and C-SPAN. He is the author of three books, and his articles have appeared in magazines and newspapers across the world.


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