Jean Evelyn Slutsky was born on Oct. 12, 1923 in Brooklyn. She worked for a furniture store, publishing company and finally the IRS, where she met her future husband, Mortimer “Marty” Nidetch, whom she married on March 29, 1947 in Brooklyn.
They moved to a brand-new condo at 57-53 Marathon Pkwy. in Little Neck and later moved to a large one at 251-25 61 Ave., also in Little Neck, raising two boys there. Addicted to cookies and gaining weight to the tune of 214 pounds Jean Nidetch worked on fad diets to help cure the problem.
She founded a weekly support group and incorporated in May 1963 as the Weight Watchers organization. It was the gold standard that many followed and tried to copy. It was so successful, it was purchased by H.J. Heinz in May 1978 for $71 million The brand is famous worldwide. Heinz sold the enterprise in 1999 for $735 million to Artel Luxembourg SA.
Nidetch passed away of natural causes at age 91 on April 29, 2015.