Helen Zell

Helen Zell Net Worth, Husband, Age, Job

Who is Helen Zell?

Helen Zell is an American businesswoman well known as the wife of the late billionaire Sam Zell. According to The Chicago Public Education Fund, Helen is the Executive Director of the Zell Family Foundation.

She also serves as a board director in various organizations. Together with her late husband, Helen has participated in philanthropic activities heavily focusing on education and arts.

She graduated from the University of Michigan with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree and a bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature.

Helen Zell Age

Helen is probably in her 60s. Her real age and date of birth are currently not known.

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Helen Zell’s Husband Sam Zell

Helen was married to her husband Sam Zell until his death on May 18, 2023. Sam is a well-known billionaire entrepreneur, real estate investor, and lawyer.

Sam was previously married twice. He had two daughters Kellie and JoAnn and a son Matthew from his previous marriages.

Helen Zell and her husband Sam

Helen Zell Job

Helen is a philanthropist and entrepreneur. As her bio on The Chicago Public Education Fund reads;

“Helen Zell is the Executive Director of the Zell Family Foundation. She is an active philanthropist and thought leader in the arts and education, with an emphasis on music, literature, and visual arts.

She is the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Steppenwolf Theatre and serves on the executive committee.

Helen is a Trustee, and former Chair, of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. She also serves on the boards of directors of the Ounce of Prevention Fund, a public-public partnership dedicated to the healthy development of at-risk children; the Chicago Public Education Fund, a nonprofit organization working to improve public education in the city; and Teach for America, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting educational equity and excellence for children in low-income communities.

Helen is also a member of the Photography Committee at the Art Institute of Chicago. Helen’s lifelong passion for great literature and commitment to her alma mater is reflected in her advocacy for the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

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What is The Helen Zell Writers’ Program?

The Zell Family Foundation provides significant ongoing support for the university’s Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree program in Creative Writing, now known as the Helen Zell Writers’ Program, which is a two-year graduate program in creative writing with a concentration in either fiction or poetry.

The program also provides each student with the opportunity for a “Zellowship,” a post-graduate year of financial support that enables writers to dedicate their time solely to writing. As part of the program, the foundation endowed the Zell Visiting Writers Series.

It also endowed the department’s first visiting professorship in fiction, later named the Nicholas Delbanco Visiting Professorship, and the Helen Zell Director’s Fund for the MFA program in Creative Writing. The program is recognized internationally for its excellence and regularly produces award-winning authors. Helen also has a long history of supporting the arts and education in Chicago as well.

Among numerous other initiatives, she led the Zell Family Foundation’s underwriting of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s music director position in perpetuity, now known as the Zell Music Director.

Helen’s resume includes a broad range of professional experiences including editor of journals published by the American Society for Microbiology; project director and acquisitions editor for Science Research Associates, Inc.; and general manager for the Chicago String Ensemble. Later in her career, Helen also owned an interior design firm.

Helen Zell’s Net Worth

Helen’s net worth is currently unknown. Her husband however had an estimated net worth of $5.3 billion, according to Forbes.

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