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Forbes names top female self-made billionaires

Spanx Founder Sara Blakely at the Spanx Fall 2012 Fashion Week Presentation on Feb. 13, 2012 in New York City. Blakely is the youngest woman on Forbes list of female self-made billionaires.

This final note today, which I just think is kind of a cool story.

Forbes magazine is out with its list of female self-made billionaires. It's a pretty small club: Oprah; Meg Whitman, late of eBay, now CEO of Hewlett Packard; and Sara Blakely. She's 41, the youngest woman on the list. Sole owner and proprietor of Spanx -- it makes girdles, basically.

Best part? Got out of college in Florida, thought about law school, instead went to Disney World and tried out to be Goofy.

They wouldn't hire her 'cause she was too short.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.
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Mr. Ryssdal, you made a very cool story into one sort of soured by your commentary and inaccurate description of the product. I beg to differ, Good Sir, as to your categorization of Spanx. You are not familiar with the hideous level of discomfort of the historic "girdle" caused many women. Sara Blakeley's Spanx are not girdles, by any stretch of the imagination. The more appropriate description of Spanx would be a spandex-pantyhose shape enhancer -- which works from your mid section down to your mid-thigh. I would know, as I own at least 5 pair. Mrs. Blakeley is a billionaire thanks to repeat customers like me because she had sense enough to know that professional women want to look good for the workplace and for evenings out, without sacrificing comfort. Girdles were and will always be a mood killer and an expert example of slow torture. Spanx certainly are not. And to Mrs. Blakeley, thank you eternally and keep making great products. I will gladly spend to help you onto your next billion, as you and your Spanx help me to look one size smaller in my favorite sets of work pants and jeans.

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