Edith Flagg, grandmother of Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles agent Josh Flagg, died Wednesday in Los Angeles, he shared on Instagram. She was 94-years-old.
"I was my grandmother’s only grandchild and the center of her life, but she was the center of my universe," Josh tells the Dish. "I am so grateful I got to hold her hand and place my head on her chest and tell her I loved her. She told me she adored me.”
Over the years, Edith became a fan favorite on the show and was beloved for offering Josh unfiltered advice on his life and career. But before she came to Bravo, she made her mark as an American fashion designer, businesswoman and philanthropist. She spearheaded the clothing line Edith Flagg Inc. in the '50s and was one of the first designers to import polyester into the United States, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
In his book, A Simple Girl: Stories My Grandmother Told Me, Flagg wrote about her remarkable ascent in America and recalled how she had arrived in the States with "$5 in her pocket...and built a multi-million dollar clothing company...She is an inspiration to everyone."
Edith wasn't just an inspiration—she was also a survivor. Born in Romania in 1919 and raised in Austria, she hid during the Nazi occupation while living in Holland during World War II and then escaped to Israel. (Her first husband, Hans, was sent to Auschwitz, where he died in 1944; she then married Eric Flagg, who passed away in 1999.) Later, she emigrated to the United States, where she set up her burgeoning fashion empire in New York City. In fact, while filming last season of the show, she made the shocking revelation that she had killed a Nazi in order to survive (watch the video below). Of realizing she had to leave the country at the time, Josh recalled frankly to the Hollywood Reporter, "The Dutch had a notion, crazy as it be, that they could never be attacked -- that they were invincible, that this couldn’t happen to Holland’s Jews. And some people were smart enough to realize that wasn’t the case. She was one of them. She realized that back in Austria when she saw Hitler march in and said, ‘I’m getting the f--k outta here.’”
Though Edith was certainly content with her own accomplishments—"She knows what she's done in her life and she's proud," Josh recalled—she was most proud of her family and her grandson. As she told the Hollywood Reporter matter-of-factly, "He knows how to present himself."
[Source: Hollywood Reporter]