Liesel Pritzker Simmons
|Liesel Pritzker Simmons|
|Born||Liesel Anne Pritzker
March 14, 1986
Chicago, Illinois, USA
|Residence||New York City|
|Other names||Liesel Matthews (stage name)|
|Alma mater||New Trier High School
|Net worth||US$ 500 million|
|Relatives||A.N. Pritzker (grandfather)
Jay Pritzker (uncle)
Liesel Anne Pritzker (born March 14, 1986), stage name Liesel Matthews, is a former American child actress, heiress to the Hyatt Hotels fortune, and philanthropist. She starred as Sara Crewe in A Little Princess, a 1995 film adaptation of the Frances Hodgson Burnett classic, and as Alice Marshall in Air Force One. She is a member of the wealthy Pritzker family.
Early life and education
Liesel Anne Pritzker was born in Chicago, Illinois, into the wealthy Pritzker family, of Ukrainian Jewish origin on her father's side. Her parents are Irene (née Dryburgh) and Robert Pritzker. She was named after the Sound of Music character Liesl von Trapp, the eldest daughter of the seven von Trapp children. She is one of twelve surviving grandchildren of patriarch A.N. Pritzker, a financier and industrialist who died in 1986. Her uncle, Jay Pritzker, is the founder of the Hyatt Hotel chain, and owned Braniff Airlines from 1983-1988. The family controls the TransUnion Credit Bureau and the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. The Pritzker family has been near the top of Forbes magazine's "America's Richest Families" list since the list began in 1982. Pritzker graduated from New Trier High School outside of Chicago and enrolled at Columbia University.
For her roles on stage and screen, Liesel Pritzker uses the stage name "Liesel Matthews," first to honor her brother Matthew and second, to avoid conflict between her divorced parents about whether she should incorporate her stepfather's name and be known as Liesel Pritzker-Bagley.
Pritzker made her professional stage debut as Scout in a production of To Kill A Mockingbird in Chicago. She was also seen in Vincent in Brixton, and won a Theatre World Award for her performance. She went on to star in two other major films.
In 2002, Pritzker, then an undergrad at Columbia University, filed a U.S. $6 billion lawsuit against her father and 11 older cousins claiming they had misappropriated money from trusts established for her and her brother Matthew Pritzker. In early 2005, the parties settled the lawsuit, which followed another suit that began the process of splitting the family fortune 11 ways, resulting in 10 more Pritzkers joining the Forbes 400; the most members of any family. Under the settlement, Liesel and Matthew each received roughly U.S. $280 million in cash and were given more control over other trusts valued at about U.S. $170 million each.
Philanthropy and Work
Liesel Pritzker is the founder of Young Ambassadors for Opportunity (YAO), a network of young professionals who aim to inspire, educate, and involve others in microfinance and the work of Opportunity International. In June 2009, she donated $4 million to Opportunity International to help expand microfinance services in Africa. She is the co-founder of the IDP Foundation, Inc and Blue Haven Initiative. 
|1995||A Little Princess||Sara Crewe||Nominated – Young Artist Awards for Best Young Leading Actress in a Feature Film|
|1997||Air Force One||Alice Marshall|
- Worthy, Ford; Hutton, Cynthia (April 25, 1988). "THE PRITZKERS UNVEILING A PRIVATE FAMILY Can you believe it? These billionaires actually like each other. But as Pritzkers proliferate, a worry arises: Can they maintain their striking success -- and keep everyone happy?". CNN Money. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
- Ackman, Dan (December 11, 2002). "Liesel Pritzker, Meet Meadow Soprano". Forbes. Retrieved October 23, 2007.
- Maremont, Mark (January 9, 2005). "How a little princess won back her inheritance". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved October 23, 2007.
- David Brooks (December 13, 2002). "Little Princess Lost". The Daily Standard. Retrieved October 23, 2007.
- Kroll, Lisa (October 24, 2007). "Billionaire Family Feuds". Forbes.com. Archived from the original on October 26, 2007. Retrieved November 5, 2007.
- Liesel Pritzker Donates $4 Million to Opportunity International To Help Expand Microfinance Services in Africa