Las Vegas Sun

July 28, 2014

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Who is the “Lied” in Lied Discovery Children’s Museum?

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The Lied of the children’s museum, Lied Animal Shelter, Lied Library at UNLV, Lied Ambulatory Care Center at UMC and a host of other facilities in Southern Nevada and across the country is Ernst F. Lied (pronounced LEED), a Nebraska car dealer who moved to Las Vegas in the 1950s and made a fortune in real estate.

Lied sensed that Las Vegas was set to boom, sold his dealership and headed west. He was eventually joined here by his business associate Christina Hixson. Hixson had worked as Lied’s secretary during his car dealing days, but her role grew to the point that she became essentially a business partner of Lied’s, according to reports.

When Lied died, he left Hixson as sole trustee of the Lied Foundation Trust, which has donated millions of dollars to causes in Nevada, Nebraska and elsewhere. The foundation declined to provide Mr. Sun with additional information on its work. But Hixson once told a reporter: “Mr. Lied left no specific instruction on how the money was to be distributed. We are careful to use the money in ways that will honor him.”

Outside Nevada, the trust has donated to the Lied Center of Kansas, a performing arts venue; the Lied Performance Center in Lincoln; and the Hixson-Lied Auditorium at Creighton University, among other facilities and causes.

Questions for Mr. Sun should be sent to [email protected].

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