Kim Kardashian, in full Kimberly Noel Kardashian West, (born October 21, 1980, Los Angeles, California, U.S.), American television personality and entrepreneur who garnered international fame for her personal life, much of which was chronicled on the popular reality series Keeping Up with the Kardashians (2007– ).
Kim was the second of four children; Kourtney was her elder sister, and Khloé and Robert were younger siblings. Her father, Robert Kardashian, gained national recognition as a member of O.J. Simpson’s legal team during his 1995 murder trial, and her mother, Kris, later served as her manager; after the couple divorced in 1989, Kris married (1991–2014) Olympic gold medalist Bruce (later Caitlyn) Jenner, and they had two children, Kendall and Kylie.
In 1998 Kim graduated from high school and subsequently became an assistant to socialite Paris Hilton. During that time she married (2000) music producer Damon Thomas; the couple divorced in 2004. Two years later Kim, along with Kourtney and Khloé, opened DASH, a boutique in Calabasas, California; several other locations were later added.
In early 2007 a sex tape featuring Kim and her then boyfriend R&B singer Ray J was leaked online; she sued the video’s distributor and later received an out-of-court settlement. The attention helped the Kardashian family land a reality TV series, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, which followed their daily lives, including Bruce Jenner’s later transition into a woman.
The show premiered on the E! channel in October 2007 and was a ratings success. All the family members attained varying levels of celebrity, with Kim—who was known for her good looks and curvaceous figure—becoming a pop culture phenomenon. Although some derided her popularity, alleging that she was simply famous for being famous, her canny self-promotion—which also included a strong social media presence—helped create a hugely profitable brand.
In addition to endorsement deals, Kardashian was involved in numerous business ventures, including a series of fitness DVDs, a credit card, various beauty products, and a game app that allowed users to create a celebrity. Her immense popularity also led to film roles—she made her big-screen debut in Disaster Movie (2008)—and other TV appearances. She notably starred in the spin-off series Kourtney and Kim Take New York (2011–12).
In the late 2010s Kardashian became involved in prison reform, and, through her efforts, various incarcerated individuals were released. Notably, in 2018 she helped secure a presidential commutation for Alice Marie Johnson, a nonviolent drug offender who was serving a life sentence. In 2020 the TV documentary Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project aired.
Kardashian was a fixture in the tabloids, and much attention was devoted to her relationships. In 2011 she married basketball player Kris Humphries—the ceremony was videotaped and later broadcast on E!—but 72 days later she filed for divorce, which was finalized in 2013.
In 2012 Kardashian began dating rapper Kanye West, and their daughter, North (“Nori”) West, was born the following year. In May 2014 Kardashian and West were married. The pair had a second child, son Saint West, in 2015. Their daughter Chicago West and son Psalm West were born in 2018 and 2019, respectively, via a surrogate. In 2021 it was announced that Kim and Kanye were divorcing.
Kim Kardashian earned a spot on Forbes’ World’s Billionaires List on Tuesday, April 6, amid her divorce from Kanye West. That’s making it another billionaire in the Kardashian-Jenner family.
“When Kim Kardashian West was first mentioned in the pages of Forbes in 2011, it was simply a tally of her Twitter followers: 6.6 million, just below Barack Obama and just above Ashton Kutcher. Five years later, she graced the cover of Forbes thanks to her booming mobile game, which helped her earn $51 million that year. Now, she officially joins the World’s Billionaires list for the first time,” Forbes says in a blog.
Forbes attributed the feat to Kim’s booming businesses — KKW Beauty and Skims — as well as earnings from reality television and endorsement deals and a number of smaller investments.
Kim founded KKW Beauty in 2017 following the success of Kylie Cosmetics, owned by Kylie Jenner, her younger sister.
The company continued to pull the strings shortly after witnessing an expansion the following year during which it raked in a total of $100 million.
She thereafter launched Skims in 2019 and leveraged on her huge social media following to promote the business.
The 40-year-old sold 20 percent of KKW Beauty to Coty for $200 million last year, which put the value of her company at $1 billion — although Forbes said the figure was “a little bloated.”
“The rest of Kardashian West’s fortune sits in cash and investments, including real estate. Every year since 2012, she has earned at least $10 million pretax, by Forbes’ count, thanks to paychecks from ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’, endorsement deals, and endeavors like the aforementioned mobile game and her now-defunct Kimoji app,” Forbes said.