Philanthropist and former American child actress, heiress to the Hyatt Hotels fortune, Liesel Pritzker Simmons is a member of the wealthy Pritzker family. Born in Chicago on March 14 1984, this former child actress has acted in many popular movies like “Air Force One”.
Liesel Pritzker Simmons is of Ukrainian Jewish origin. Irene and Robert Pritzker are her parents. She was named after the “Sound of Music” character Liesl von Trapp. She is the granddaughter of financier and industrialist A N Pritzker.
Liesel has acted in movies “A Little Princess”, “Air Force One” and “Blast”. Harrison Ford compared her to a young Jodie Foster. He said, “Liesel is just so real, it’s like a breath of fresh air”.
Liesel graduated from Chicago’s New Trier High School. After graduation, she attended Columbia with an intention to continue her acting career from New York. However as a freshman African history major, she became famous for her lawsuit.
Liesel sued her family and got $500 million. She is married to Ian Simmons and lives in New York City. Ian Simmons is a blue-blooded heir to the family that built locks on the Erie Canal, co-founded department store chain Montgomery Ward and helped take insurance broker Marsh & McLennan public.
Liesel Pritzker is no trust fund baby. She is a philanthropist. She is the founder of “Young Ambassadors of Opportunity” (YAO). YAO is a network of active young professionals who work towards inspiring, educating and involving people in microfinance and the work of Opportunity International.
Liesel donated $4 million to Opportunity International in 2009. This was to help expand microfinance services in Africa. She has also co-founded the IDP Foundation, Inc and Blue Haven Initiative.
The turning point in her life was the time she spent in Dharmashala in North India. This is where she learnt to appreciate the value of service. Liesel’s life is an inspiration to millions of women worldwide.