Kim Kardashian

"I thought, if only people knew the crazy things that go on in this household, it would be so funny," Kim Kardashian once said. Now, of course, everyone does know what goes on in her family, and she's parlayed the craziness into an estimated $45 million fortune. Millions of Twitter fans eagerly await her every cyber utterance.

The reality TV queen's empire rests on DASH, a chain of boutiques selling women's clothing.

Added to that are endorsement deals which have included cup cake mix, trainers, diet products and, even at one point, a debit card ("the Kardashian Kard").

Her dominance began with Keeping up with the Kardashians, a series that showcased the clan's fabulous LA lifestyle.

Viewers instantly responded to her warm, open personality. Unlike some young California socialites, Kim provided a positive role model for her teen fanbase – not camping out in nightclubs nor whittling herself down to a size zero.

Meanwhile, the family's genuine love for each other showed through the nutty goings on.

Kim is one of four children born to Robert Kardashian, OJ Simpson's successful trial lawyer, who died in 2003, and his wife Kris. She made her grand entrance on October 21, 1980.

Her siblings Robert Jnr, Kourtney and Khloe have all had major storylines on the show – among them the births of two of Kourtney's children, Mason and Penelope, on TV and Khloe's marriage to sports star Lamar Odom after a one-month courtship.

After their parents' divorce, mum Kris, the family's business manager, remarried Olympian Bruce Jenner.

Their union gave the girls four stepsiblings including Brody Jenner, famous for his own shows The Princes of Malibu and Bromance, in which young men compete to become members of his entourage.

Kris and Bruce went on to have two girls together, Kendall and Kylie, who have grown up on camera since they were 10 and nine.

The Kardashians' media reach has come with detractors.

Of the criticism, Kim says: "I have no idea why. I work really hard – (sometimes) I have seven appointments before 10am. I'm constantly on the go.

"I have a successful clothing line. A fragrance. I mean, acting and singing aren't the only ways to be talented."

Intense interest also surrounds her love life. Her relationship with R&B star Ray J was notable because an intimate tape of them surfaced years afterwards.

Kim was briefly married in her 20s to music producer Damon Thomas. Her second union – to basketball player Kris Humphries – lasted just 72 days.

Then in 2012, she began dating the crown prince of rap, Kanye West, who was a friend for many years before. Their daughter North – nicknamed Nori – was born in June 2013.

Kanye proposed later that year on Kim's 33rd birthday in front of her friends and family in a San Francisco baseball stadium he rented out for the occasion.

The wedding took place in the Italian city of Florence, at the breathtaking 16th-century fortress Forte di Belvedere. Kim floated down the aisle in a Givenchy design which was created by the couple's close friend Riccardo Tisci.

Then the wedding party dined at a 224-foot imperial marble table, mounted onto a platform giving hilltop views of the city – but not before the groom introduced his new wife as "my baby Kim Kardashian West" and described her as "the ideal celebrity…the ideal art".

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