How Old Is Barbara Handler? Ruth Handler’s Daughter

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Barbara Handler is the daughter of Ruth Handler who was an American businesswoman and inventor. She is best known for inventing the Barbie doll in 1959. The Barbie doll’s name is based on her name. Barbie grossed $214 million within the first five days of its premiere. When she was 15 years old, Barbie was created by her mother. Ruth created Barbie as a reflection of the aspirations and dreams of young girls everywhere, drawing inspiration from her own daughter’s playtime. She watched her daughter Barbara play with paper dolls, and noticed that she often enjoyed giving them adult roles. Since its creation, Barbie has become an iconic figure in popular culture, inspiring generations of children to explore their limitless potential.

Barbara Handler Age

How old is Barbara Handler? She was born on May 21, 1941 in Los Angeles, CA. She is 82 years old, as of 2023. Her zodiac sign is, Gemini. Her mother, Ruth handler was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1970. To combat this, she had a modified radical mastectomy, which was often used at the time to combat the disease.

Who Was Barbie Named After?

Barbara Handler used to play with paper dolls. One day when she was playing, her mother noticed it. Ruth already had the potential for an entrepreneurial endeavor. Barbara often enjoyed giving them adult roles.


Ruth realized there might be a need for an adult-bodied doll and discussed the concept with her husband, Elliot. With her eye for detail, she envisioned a doll that would have the same nuances and features as an adult woman, allowing young girls to better relate to it.

He was unenthusiastic about the idea, as were Mattel’s directors. Despite this initial skepticism, Ruth was determined to pursue her idea and eventually convinced the Mattel directors to give her a chance to prove the concept. Ruth found a German doll named, Bild Lilli in 1956 when she was traveling with her children Barbara and Kenneth. She purchased three of them and gave one to her daughter and took the others back to Mattel.

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In 1955, The Lilli doll was first sold in Germany and although it was initially sold to adults, it became popular with children who enjoyed dressing her up in outfits that were available separately. Ruth redesigned the doll, and the doll was given a new name, Barbie. In a very quick period of time, Barbie was an instant success, with Mattel selling 351,000 dolls within a year.

Barbara Handler Parents

Barbara Handler’s mother, Ruth died in California from complications of surgery for colon cancer on April 27, 2002, aged 85. Her father, Elliot died nine years later at the age of 95.


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