Both Martha Stewart's parents were of Polish descent. All four of her grandparents were immigrants from Poland.
Martha Stewart was born on August 3, 1941, in Jersey City, New Jersey, the United States, to Edward Kostyra and Martha Ruszkowski-Kostyra. By the time she turned three, her family had relocated to Nutley, New Jersey, where she grew up with four brothers and sisters.
By all accounts, Stewart's father was a strict disciplinarian who instilled in Stewart the value of self-sufficiency as well as a domineering perfectionism. Because of the family's modest means, Stewart and her siblings were required to perform various household chores, through which Stewart became adept at cooking, sewing, and gardening. Though acquiring these skills out of necessity, Stewart later embraced her former chores as hobbies and made a living by showing others how to parlay domestic know-how into evidence of refinement and the good life.
Edward Kostyra taught his daughter gardening when she was only three; her mother taught her cooking and sewing; her grandparents taught her to put up preserves, and she learned to make pies and cakes from a pair of retired bakers who lived next door.