Marjorie Ziff: Leeds philanthropist picks up MBE

Marjorie Ziff is made a MBE by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace. PIC: PA
Marjorie Ziff is made a MBE by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace. PIC: PA
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A prominent patron of the arts and head of one of the best-known families in Leeds has been awarded an MBE at Buckingham Palace.

Philanthropist Marjorie Ziff was among dozens of Yorkshire’s great and good rewarded for their work by the Prince of Wales.

She and her late businessman husband, Arnold, have donated large sums of money to a string of good causes in her adopted home city, including Leeds Art Gallery and Roundhay Park’s Tropical World.

Glasgow-born Mrs Ziff, 81, told the Yorkshire Evening Post she was “incredibly excited and honoured” to receive the accolade.

In 2009 Mrs Ziff celebrated her birthday by opening a £16m Leeds University building bearing her name and that of her late husband.

The Marjorie and Arnold Ziff Charitable Foundation was a major funder of the administrative building.

Arnold Ziff’s father fled Russia to come to Britain almost 100 years ago and set up the family’s first shop under the Stylo name after he served with the British Army in the First World War.

Mr Ziff joined his father’s firm in 1948 during a period which saw the business develop rapidly, opening 150 stores across the country.

In 1964 the first phase of the Merrion Centre was opened in Leeds by Arnold Ziff’s Town Centre Securities.

He became one the region’s most successful businessmen and was also famous for supporting the development of education, health and arts in the city.

His donations helped to provide St James’s Hospital with its first body scanner.

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