Kathy Ireland Biography

Kathleen Ireland, also known as Kathy Ireland, is a renowned American model turned entrepreneur. Her journey from the world of modeling to becoming a leading figure in design and marketing is truly inspiring. From a young age, Kathy showed her entrepreneurial spirit by selling her hand-painted rocks in her neighborhood instead of keeping them for herself. Her modeling career took off in her late teens, and with her striking features of auburn hair and green eyes, she quickly became a sought-after diva in the industry. She graced the covers of prestigious fashion magazines like Vogue and Cosmopolitan, but her most notable achievement was appearing on the 25th anniversary edition of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. It was during her time as a model that Kathy came up with the idea of providing affordable and high-quality fashion to all consumers. This led to the creation of her brand licensing and design company, ‘kathy ireland Worldwide’, which is ranked as the 28th most powerful brand internationally by License Global Magazine. With annual retail sales of $2 billion, Kathy has become one of the wealthiest models in the world. To learn more about her remarkable life and accomplishments, continue reading.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Kathleen Marie Ireland
  • Age: 60 Years, 60 Year Old Females
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Greg Olsen
    • Father: John Ireland
    • Mother: Barbara Ireland
    • Siblings: Mary Ireland
    • Children: Chloe Olsen, Erik Olsen, Lily Olsen
  • Philanthropists
  • Models
  • Height: 5’10” (178 cm), 5’10” Females
  • U.S. State: California
  • City: Glendale, California
  • Education: San Marcos High School
  • Humanitarian Work: Supporter of several non-profit organisations such as YWCA, Providence Educational Foundation, 911 for Kids

Childhood & Early Life

Kathleen Marie Ireland was born on March 20, 1963, in Glendale, Los Angeles County. She grew up with two siblings, Mary and Cynthia. Even as a child, Kathleen was industrious, selling hand-painted rocks and working as a paper boy.


Kathleen began her modeling career in 1980 when she was signed by the Elite Modeling Agency. She quickly gained success and became a household name. In 1984, she appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue for the first time, launching her career to new heights. She went on to be featured in the magazine a total of thirteen times.

Kathleen made her first television appearance in 1985 on the show “Charles in Charge,” which sparked her interest in the medium. She then appeared in the movie “Alien from L.A.” in 1988, although it was not well-received by critics.

Throughout her career, Kathleen continued to model and act in various films and television shows. She appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue for the Silver Jubilee edition in 1989. In 1991, she starred in the sports comedy movie “Necessary Roughness.” She also made appearances in the movies “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and “Worth Winning” in 1989, and “Side Out” and “Mr. Destiny” in 1990.

In 1992, Kathleen appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue for the second time. She also made several film and television appearances that year, including the comedy “Mom and Dad Save the World” and the TV movie “Danger Island.” In 1993, she appeared in the films “Loaded Weapon 1” and “Amore,” as well as on “The Larry Sanders Show” on TV.

In addition to her acting and modeling career, Kathleen started her own brand marketing company in 1993 called Kathy Ireland Worldwide. The company initially focused on clothing and accessories and had an exclusive deal with Kmart. Over the years, the company expanded into various other industries, including home furnishings, fine jewelry, and publishing. Under Kathleen’s guidance, the company has achieved an annual sales figure of $2 billion.

Kathleen also ventured into writing, publishing her book “Powerful Inspirations: Eight Lessons that Will Change Your Life” in 2002. She has also written children’s books and books on parenting.

Personal Life & Legacy

Kathleen married Greg Olsen, a practicing physician, in 1988. They have three children together and reside in Southern California. Kathleen was close friends with actress Elizabeth Taylor until Taylor’s death in 2011, and she credits Taylor as her mentor.

Awards & Achievements

Kathleen’s appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue in 1984 remains one of the best-selling issues of the magazine. She was awarded the title of “The Greatest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover Of All Time” at the 50th Anniversary event of the Swimsuit Issue.

In 2011, Kathleen received the American Heritage Award from the Anti-Defamation League. She was also honored with the Messenger of Peace Award in 2012 for her philanthropic efforts. Kathleen has been awarded an honorary master’s degree in fine arts by the School of Design affiliated with the American Intercontinental University.

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