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Forbes: Spanx inventor is youngest self-made female billionaire

Sara Blakely, 41, creator and owner of the line of slimming, smoothing undergarments, is the youngest woman ever to make the Forbes list as a self-made billionaire.

March 09, 2012|By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
  • Spanx founder Sara Blakely at the Spanx Fall 2012 Fashion Week Presentation in New York in February.
Spanx founder Sara Blakely at the Spanx Fall 2012 Fashion Week Presentation… (Skip Bolen, Getty Images…)

Spanx inventor Sara Blakely is a billionaire at 41 years old, according to the annual Forbes magazine list of billionaires.

Blakely, the creator and owner of the line of women's and men's slimming, smoothing undergarments, is the youngest woman ever to make the list as a self-made billionaire, meaning she didn't inherit or marry into the money.

She's one of several billionaires who appear on the cover of the latest Forbes issue.

According to Forbes, Blakely was 29 when she was looking for something flattering to wear under her white slacks. She ended up inventing a new line of shaping underwear. She invested $5,000 — her entire life savings — to start the company.

On Thursday, Blakely appeared on "CBS This Morning" and talked about her rise to wealth.

"I've always had that gratitude that I had the opportunity to pursue my potential," she said. "So I think my story says that, when women are given the chance and the opportunity, that we can achieve a lot.

"We deliver. We can make the world a better place, one butt at a time."

william.hennigan@latimes.com

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