In recent years, West has grown an online and social media presence, including hundreds of millions of followers on Twitter and Instagram. She has released a variety of products tied to her name, including the 2014 mobile game Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, a variety of clothing and products, the 2015 photo book Selfish and her eponymous personal app. Her relationship with rapper Kanye West has also received significant media coverage; the couple married in 2014 and they have four children together.
Time magazine included West on their list of 2015’s 100 most influential people, while Vogue described her in 2016 as a “pop culture phenomenon.” Critics and admirers have described her as exemplifying the notion of being famous for being famous.She was reported to be the highest-paid reality television personality of 2015, with her estimated total earnings exceeding US$53 million.
West was born on October 21, 1980, in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Robert and Kris (née Houghton). She has an older sister, Kourtney, a younger sister, Khloé, and a younger brother, Rob. Their mother is of Dutch, English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry, while their father was a third-generation Armenian-American. After their parents divorced in 1991, her mother married again that year, to Bruce Jenner (now Caitlyn Jenner) the 1976 Summer Olympics decathlon winner. Through their marriage, West gained step-brothers Burton “Burt”, Brandon, and Brody; step-sister Casey; and half-sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner.
She attended Marymount High School, a Roman Catholic all-girls school in Los Angeles. In 1994, her father represented football player O. J. Simpson during his murder trial. Simpson is West’s godfather. West’s father died in 2003 of cancer. In her 20s, West was the close friend and stylist of socialite Paris Hilton, through whom she first garnered media attention.
Breakthrough with reality television (2007–2009)
In 2006, West entered the business world with her two sisters and opened the boutique shop D-A-S-H in Calabasas, California. In February 2007, a sex tape made by West and Ray J in 2003 was leaked. West filed a lawsuit against Vivid Entertainment, who distributed the film as Kim Kardashian, Superstar. She later dropped the suit and settled for a reported US$5 million, allowing Vivid to release the tape.Several media outlets later criticized her and the family for using the sex tape’s release as a publicity stunt to promote their upcoming reality show.
In October 2007 West, in addition to her mother Kris Jenner, her step-parent Caitlyn Jenner (Bruce), her siblings Kourtney, Khloé, and Rob Kardashian, and half-sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner, began to appear in the reality television series Keeping Up with the Kardashians. The series proved successful for E!, and has led to the creations of spin-offs including Kourtney and Kim Take New York and Kourtney and Kim Take Miami. In one of the episodes, Kim discussed an offer from Playboy to appear nude in the magazine. That December, West posed in a nude pictorial for Playboy.
In 2008, she made her feature film debut in the disaster film spoof Disaster Movie, in which she appeared as a character named Lisa. That same year, she was a participant on season seven of Dancing with the Stars, where she was partnered with Mark Ballas. West was the third contestant to be eliminated. In January 2009, West made a cameo appearance during an episode of the sitcom How I Met Your Mother, in the episode “Benefits”. In April, she released a workout DVD series through her television production company Kimsaprincess Productions, LLC which has seen the release of three successful workout videos, Fit in Your Jeans by Friday, with trainers Jennifer Galardi and Patrick Goudeau. West played Elle in four episodes of the television series Beyond the Break.
West became a guest host of WrestleMania XXIV and guest judge on America’s Next Top Model in August of that year. In September, Fusion Beauty and Seven Bar Foundation launched “Kiss Away Poverty”, with West as the face of the campaign. For every LipFusion lipgloss sold, US$1 went to the Foundation to fund women entrepreneurs in the US. The following month, she released her first fragrance self-titled “Kim Kardashian”. In December 2009, West made a guest star appearance on CBS’s CSI: NY with Vanessa Minnillo.
Early endorsements (2010–2013)
In 2010, West ventured into several new endorsement deals, including endorsing various food products for Carl’s Jr. In January 2010, she starred as Summa Eve in the film Deep in the Valley. In April, West sparked controversy over the way she held a kitten for a photograph, holding it by the scruff of its neck. With sisters Kourtney and Khloé, West is involved in the retail and fashion industries. They have launched several clothing collections and fragrances. Animal rights organization PETA criticized West for repeatedly wearing fur coats, and named her as one of the five worst people or organizations of 2010 when it came to animal welfare. June saw West guest star with Khloé and Kourtney as themselves on the season three premiere episode of the series 90210.
West backstage at The Heart Truth’s Red Dress Collection, February 2010
On July 1, 2010, the New York City branch of Madame Tussauds revealed a wax figure of West In November, West served as producer for The Spin Crowd, a reality television show about Command PR, a New York City public relations firm, run by Jonathan Cheban and Simon Huck. The show followed them as they settle into their new offices in Los Angeles. That month, she also appeared on season ten of The Apprentice. Kim, Kourtney, and Khloé wrote an autobiography titled Kardashian Konfidential, which was released in stores on November 23, and appeared on New York Times’s Best Seller List.
In December 2010, West filmed a music video for a song titled “Jam (Turn It Up)”. The video was directed by Hype Williams; Kanye West makes a cameo in the video. West premiered the song during a New Year’s Eve party at TAO Las Vegas on December 31, 2010. The song was produced by The-Dream and Tricky Stewart. When asked if an album was in the works, West replied, “There’s no album in the works or anything—just one song we did for Kourtney and Kim Take New York, and a video Hype Williams directed, half of the proceeds we’re giving away to a cancer foundation, because The-Dream’s and one of my parents passed away from cancer. It’s just all having fun—with a good cause”. Jim Farber, writing for the Daily News, called the song a “dead-brained piece of generic dance music, without a single distinguishing feature,” and suggested that the single made West the “worst singer in the reality TV universe.
That month, the International Business Times reported that West’s 2010 earnings were the highest among Hollywood-based reality stars, estimating them at $6 million.
In April 2011, West released her third fragrance “Gold”. In March 2012, West debuted her fourth fragrance, titled “True Reflection”, which she worked with the company Dress for Success to promote. In April, E! renewed Keeping Up with the Kardashians for two additional seasons, in a deal reported to be worth $50 million. In October 2012, West released her fifth fragrance, “Glam”, which “draws on the glamour of her Hollywood lifestyle”, and was made available through Debenhams.In summer of 2012, West and her family filmed a music video in the Dominican Republic to Notorious B.I.G’s song “Hypnotize”.
In the romantic drama Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor (2013), produced, written, and directed by Tyler Perry, West obtained the role of the co-worker of an ambitious therapist. While the film was a moderate box office success, with a worldwide gross of US$53.1 million, critical response was negative and West won the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress.
Focus on social media (2014–present)
West in September 2014
West appeared on the cover, and in a pictorial in Paper’s winter issue in 2014 photographed by Jean-Paul Goude. On the cover, her nude buttocks are featured above the caption: “Break the Internet”, which generated considerable comment in both social and traditional media. The photos show West with her hair tied up in a bun, wearing only a pearl necklace, a pair of earrings and black satin gloves, and, on the cover, with her bare back facing the camera, holding a sequined gown below her bare, oiled-up buttocks, while smiling broadly at the camera. A Time magazine writer commented that, unlike previous celebrities’ nudes that represented the women’s rebellion against repressed society and “trying to tear down” barriers, West’s exhibition was “just provocation and bluster, repeated images that seem to offer us some sort of truth or insight but are really just self serving. We want there to be something more, some reason or context, some great explanation that tells us what it is like to live in this very day and age, but there is not. Kim Kardashian’s ass is nothing but an empty promise.” However, the stunt “set a new benchmark” in social media response, and Paper’s website received 15.9 million views in one day, compared with 25,000 views on an average day
On October 6, 2014 West posted a jeweled homage in honor of daughter North West on Instagram in the form of some pretty Loud Love Jewelry gold rings, one for each letter of North’s name
In June 2014, West released a mobile game for iPhone and Android called Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. The objective of the game is to become a Hollywood star or starlet. The game supports a free to play model, meaning the game is free to download, but charges for in-game items. The game was a hit, earning US$1.6 million in its first five days of release. In July, the game’s developer Glu Mobile announced that the game was the fifth highest earning game in Apple’s App Store. West voiced the role of an alien in an episode of the adult animated series American Dad!, in season 11 (2014–15) in the episode titled “Blagsnarst, A Love Story” on September 21, 2014. In May 2015, West released a portfolio book called Selfish, a 325-page collection of self-taken photos of herself. In December 2015, West released an emoji pack for iOS devices called Kimoji. The app was a best-seller, becoming one of the top 5 most bought apps that week. In August 2015, West was the cover model for Vogue Spain
As of November 2016, as per CBC Marketplace and interviews with celebrity endorsement experts, Kim Kardashian was paid between $75,000 and $300,000 for each post that she posted on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter endorsing beauty products like waist trainers, teeth whiteners as well as Coca-Cola and well known charities. Experts think that celebrities offer fake glimpses into their lives to make viewers fall for their advertising pitches, curated to look as though the viewer is catching them in a spontaneous moment when they are mostly staged.
In June 2017 she launched her own beauty line, KKW Beauty and in November 2017 she launched her own fragrance line, KKW Fragrance.
By 2018, according to Business Insider, West was charging $720,000 per Instagram post. Even though engagement data indicates that her posts are worth slightly less, she’s regularly making headlines and this allows her to demand a premium above any calculated Instagram sponsored post price.
West made a cameo appearance in the heist film Ocean’s 8, which was released on June 8, 2018.
In 2019, West made waves at the Met Gala with her figure hugging corset-induced Thierry Mugler dress.
In 2000, 19-year-old Kardashian eloped with music producer Damon Thomas. Thomas filed for divorce in 2003. Kardashian later blamed their separation on physical and emotional abuse on his part, and said she was high on ecstasy during the ceremony. Prior to the completion of her divorce, Kardashian began dating singer Ray J.
In May 2011, Kardashian became engaged to NBA player Kris Humphries, then of the New Jersey Nets, whom she had been dating since October 2010.They were married in a wedding ceremony on August 20 in Montecito, California. Earlier that month, she had released her “wedding fragrance” called “Kim Kardashian Love” which coincided with her own wedding. A two-part TV special showing the preparations and the wedding itself aired on E! in early October 2011, amidst what The Washington Post called a “media blitz” related to the wedding. After 72 days of marriage, she filed for divorce from Humphries on October 31, citing irreconcilable differences. Several news outlets surmised that Kardashian’s marriage to Humphries was merely a publicity stunt, to promote the Kardashian family’s brand and their subsequent television ventures. A man professing to be her former publicist, Jonathan Jaxson, also claimed that her short-lived marriage was indeed staged and a ploy to generate money. Kardashian filed suit against Jaxson, saying his claims were untrue, and subsequently settled the case which included an apology from Jaxson. A widely circulated petition asking to remove all Kardashian-related programming from the air followed the split. The divorce was subject to widespread media attention.
Kardashian began dating rapper and longtime friend Kanye West in April 2012, while still legally married to Humphries. Her divorce was finalized on June 3, 2013, Kardashian and West became engaged on October 21, Kardashian’s 33rd birthday, and married on May 24, 2014, at Fort di Belvedere in Florence, Italy. Her wedding dress was designed by Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy[1with some guests’ dresses designed by designer Michael Costello. The couple’s high status and respective careers have resulted in their relationship becoming subject to heavy media coverage; The New York Times referred to their marriage as “a historic blizzard of celebrity.
Kim Kardashian is a Christian and has described herself as “really religious” She was educated in Christian schools of both the Presbyterian and Roman Catholic traditions.
In April 2015, Kardashian and West traveled to the Armenian Quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem to have their daughter North baptized in the Armenian Apostolic Church. The ceremony took place at the Cathedral of St. James. Khloe Kardashian was appointed the godmother of North.
Health and pregnancies
West and husband Kanye West have four children: daughter North (born June 15, 2013), son Saint (born December 5, 2015),] daughter Chicago (born January 15, 2018 and son Psalm (born May 10, 2019).
West has been open about her difficult pregnancies. She suffered pre-eclampsia during her first pregnancy, which forced her to deliver at 34 weeks. She also suffered placenta accreta after delivery, eventually having to have surgery to remove the placenta and subsequent scar tissue. After her second pregnancy, her doctors advised against trying to become pregnant again.The couple’s third and fourth child were born via surrogate.
West began suffering from psoriasis at the age of 30.She was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome in late 2017.
West in Australia for the E! News: Red carpet and dinner in 2012
In May 2014, West was estimated to be worth US$45 million. In 2015, Forbes reported she had “made more this year than ever as her earnings nearly doubled to $53 million from 2014’s $28 million”, and reported that she “has monetized fame better than any other”. Much of her income include wholesale earnings of the Sears line, the Kardashian Kollection, which raked in $600 million in 2013 and the Kardashian Beauty cosmetics line, Kardashian-branded tanning products, the boutique-line DASH, as well as sponsored social media posts which are collectively worth $300,000-500,000 per post. As of July 2018, West is worth US$350 million. Combined with 3rd husband Kanye West’s net worth of $160 million, their total household net worth is an estimated $510 million, making them one of the richest couples in the entertainment industry. West does not receive alimony payments from either of her first two marriages.
West has expressed pride in her Armenian and Scottish ancestry. She is not a citizen of either country and cannot speak Armenian. She has advocated for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide on numerous occasions, and encouraged President Barack Obama and the United States government to consider its acknowledgement.
In April 2015, West traveled to Armenia with her husband, her sister Khloé, and her daughter North and visited the Armenian Genocide memorial Tsitsernakaberd in Yerevan. In April 2016, West wrote an article on her website condemning The Wall Street Journal for running an advertisement denying the Armenian Genocide. During an interview with Caity Weaver of GQ for the July 2016 issue, West described herself as a Democrat, and declared support for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 US Presidential Election.
West has also worked in the area of prison reform, advocating for the commutation of the sentence of Chris Young, and also of Alice Marie Johnson, a woman who received a life sentence for a first-time drug offense as the leader of a major cocaine ring in Tennessee, which was granted by President Donald Trump in June 2018. Along with Van Jones and Jared Kushner, she was instrumental in persuading President Trump to support the First Step Act, which enacted major reforms in the US prison system. Van Jones later stated that without her, the act would have never passed since it would not have received the president’s support. It was later passed by a great majority in the US Senate.In April of 2019, it was revealed in Vogue that West was studying to pass the bar exam, instead of law school she is “reading the law.”
On a trip to Uganda in October 2018, she met with President Yoweri Museveni with her husband. They had a press conference and Kanye talked about tourism in Uganda. They were criticized for meeting the Museveni due to his being a dictator and his recent crackdown on the opposition and the Ugandan LGBTQ community.
On October 2, 2016, while attending Paris Fashion Week, West was robbed at gunpoint in the apartment where she was staying. Five individuals, dressed as police officers, bound and gagged her, then stole $10 million worth of jewelry.The thieves got in her residence by threatening the concierge. Once they accessed West’s room, they held a gun to her head, tying her wrists and legs and wrapping duct tape around her mouth as a gag. West, who was placed in the bathtub, was physically unharmed and reportedly begged for her life. She managed to wriggle her hands free from the plastic ties around her wrists and scream for help. The thieves escaped. On October 6, 2016, it was revealed that filming for the next season of Keeping up with the Kardashians had been placed “on hold indefinitely” after the robbery. After the robbery was announced, several critics expressed skepticism about whether it was staged or not, with some even drawing comparison to Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte’s recent false robbery claim. On October 10th, 2016, video was released showing West immediately after the robbery, as police began conducting their investigation. In the video, she is seen using the cell phone that she had reported stolen, and did not have any of the markings she claimed from being bound by her captors, prompting more questions as to whether or not the events were staged. In response, West filed lawsuits against several media outlets the following day, and secured a gag order to get the video removed from any articles due to it being part of an active police investigation. On October 25, 2016, West dropped the lawsuit, prompting more criticism that the robbery was a ploy to generate media attention. Production resumed on Keeping up with the Kardashians on October 26.
Year Title Notes Ref.
2003–2006 The Simple Life 4 episodes
2007 Kim Kardashian, Superstar Pornographic video 
2007–present Keeping Up with the Kardashians Main role
2008 Dancing with the Stars Contestant (6 episodes) 
Bad Girls Club Host of “Reunion Special”
2009–2013 Kourtney and Kim Take Miami Main role (19 episodes) 
2009–2011 America’s Next Top Model Guest star; 2 episodes 
2011–2012 Kourtney and Kim Take New York Main role (18 episodes) 
2011 Khloé & Lamar 3 episodes 
2012 Punk’d Episode: “Ashton Kutcher” 
2014 Kourtney and Khloé Take The Hamptons 3 episodes
Celebrities Undercover Episode: “Wendy Williams & Kim Kardashian” 
2015 I Am Cait 5 episodes
Dash Dolls Executive producer & recurring role 
Year Title Role Ref.
2008 Disaster Movie Lisa Taylor 
2009 Deep in the Valley Summa Eve 
2013 Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor Ava 
2018 Ocean’s 8 Cameo, herself 
Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2009 Brothers Herself Episode: “Meet Mike Trainor/Assistant Coach” 
CSI: NY Debbie Fallon Episode: “Second Chances” 
Beyond the Break Elle 4 episodes 
How I Met Your Mother Herself Episode: “Benefits”
2010 90210 Episode: “Senior Year, Baby”
2012 Drop Dead Diva Nikki LePree 4 episodes
Last Man Standing Herself Episode: “Tree of Strife”
30 Rock Herself (West Coast only) Episode: “Live from Studio 6H”
2014 American Dad! Qurchhhh/Herself (voice) Episode: “Blagsnarst, A Love Story” 
2 Broke Girls Herself Episode: “And the Reality Problem” 
2010 The Spin Crowd
2015–2016 Keeping Up with the Kardashians
2016 Rob & Chyna 
2018 You Kiddin’ Me 
2018 Glam Master 
In music videos
Year Title Artist Ref.
2007 “Thnks fr th Mmrs” Fall Out Boy 
2011 “Jam (Turn It Up)” Herself 
2013 “Bound 2” Kanye West 
2016 “M.I.L.F. $” Fergie 
“Wolves” Kanye West 
2019 “Best Friend’s Ass” Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike vs. Paris Hilton
List of singles, with selected chart positions
Title Year Peak chart
“Jam (Turn It Up)” 2011 —[A] 21 Non-album single
“—” denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.
Awards and nominations
Teen Choice Awards
Year Category Nominated work / Nominee Result Ref.
2008 Choice TV Female Reality/Variety Star Keeping Up with the Kardashians Nominated 
2009 Choice TV: Female Reality/Variety Star Nominated 
2010 Choice Female Reality/Variety Star[B] Won 
Choice Female Hottie Kim Kardashian Nominated 
Choice Twit Nominated 
2011 Choice TV: Female Reality/Variety Star[C] Keeping Up with the Kardashians Won
Choice Female Hottie Kim Kardashian Nominated 
2012 Choice TV: Female Reality/Variety Star[D] Keeping Up with the Kardashians Won 
2013 Choice TV: Female Reality/Variety Star[E] Won 
2016 Choice TV Show: Reality Keeping Up with the Kardashians Won
2016 Choice Selfie Taker Kim Kardashian Nominated
2016 Choice Instagramer Kim Kardashian Nominated
2016 Choice Social Media Queen Kim Kardashian Nominated
Year Association Category Nominated work / Nominee Result Ref.
2008 Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Supporting Actress Disaster Movie Nominated 
2014 Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor Won 
2011 People’s Choice Awards Favorite TV Celeb Reality Star Kim Kardashian Won 
2017 Favorite Social Media Star Kim Kardashian Nominated 
2011 Glamour Award Entrepreneur of the Year Kim Kardashian Won 
2018 CFDA Influencer Award Kim Kardashian