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Kenneth Battelle
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    (April 19, 1927-May 12, 2013)
    Born in Syracuse, New York
    Worked in the salons of Helena Rubinstein (1950-55) and Lily Dache (1955-63)
    Opened his own salon in New York (1963-90)
    After the salon was destroyed in a fire, operated beauty parlors in the Helmsley Palace Hotel (1990-92) and Waldorf-Astoria Hotel (1992-2002)
    Created Jacqueline Kennedy's bouffant hairdo (1961)
    Other clients included Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Audrey Hepburn, Lauren Bacall, Brooke Astor, Happy Rockefeller, Rosalyn Carter and Gloria Vanderbilt
    His choice of career disappointed his mother 'because red-blooded American boys didn't do that.'
    Professionally, he went by just 'Kenneth.'
    He lied about having Fifth Avenue experience to get his job with Rubinstein.
    He was dubbed the 'Secretary of Grooming' in the Kennedy administration.
    In the late 70s, he tried to promote a style he called 'Park Avenue punk.'
    Clients had to wait up to three months to get an appointment.
    When he was twelve, he went to work to help support his mother and four sisters after his father got a divorce and left.
    He encouraged women to move away from permanent waves, bleach and hairspray in favor of a softer, more natural look: 'healthy hair you want to touch.'
    Lucille Ball called him 'God.'
    He said about his status as one of the first celebrity sylists, 'I just think about what Halston told me a long time ago: You're famous because of your clients, not because of you.'
    His salon was known for its indulgence and impeccable service: 'I believe in coddle, coddle, coddle.'
    As he watched his salon go up in flames, a reporter asked him how he felt. He replied, 'How the fuck do you think I feel? Go away.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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