Shirley may simmons: early life, career, death& family


Shirley May Simmons was an American fan dancer who dominated the entertainment space heavily in the early 1920s and 30s. She later diverted into business after marriage.

I know his surname may sound a bit familiar to you, but yes she is the biological mother of fitness coach and media personality Richard Simmons.

Who was Shirley May Simmons?

Shirley was a vibrant American-born Russian fan dancer who entertained audiences in her prime till she finally changed her profession to a businesswoman.

Even after so many years after her demise, she is still celebrated by her children and fans.

In this article, we shall bring you everything you need to know about Shirley May Simmons: Early life, career, personal life, and net worth even as of today.


Full NameShirley May Simmons
Date of birthJuly 28, 1911
Death February 28,1999
ParentsAbraham Satin and Jennie Satinsky
Husband Leonard Douglas Simmons Sr
Nationality American
Occupation Fan Dancer and businesswoman
ChildrenLeonard Douglas Simmons Jr. and Richard Simmons
Net worthN/A

Early life

Born and raised in Philadelphia to Abraham Satin and Jennie Satinsky a Russian couple who settled in America.

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Shirley had all her education in Philadelphia although her exact school and level of education are unknown.


Shirley May Simmons worked briefly as a fan dancer which saw her travel across all the states thrilling audiences with her erotic dance moves.

She then diverted her career to a businesswoman who sold cosmetics.

Shirley May Simmons Husband

Shirley met her Husband Leonard Douglas Simmons in her line of work as a fan dancer when Leo was also working as a master of ceremonies.

He graced occasions with his MC skills and excellent communication techniques. Leo later retired from his MC job to work in a thrift store.

He died in 1983 at the age of 86.

Shirley May Simmons Children

Meet her first son Leonard Douglas Simmons Jnr.

Leonard Douglas Simmons Jr. is Shirley’s first son born in 1946 although his actual date of birth is unknown to the public.

Leonard unlike his late parents and junior brother isn’t a public person and usually prefers keeping a low profile.

Despite that, he is very fond of his brother Richard and shares a very close bond with him, with his brother always heaping praises and sharing his pictures on social.

Leonard first made headlines when he came out to defend his brother Richard when rumors were made he has been held, hostage. He came out to vehemently deny the claim and assured the public Richard isn’t battling any health issue nor has he been held captive by his housekeeper.

Leonard is happily married to a woman called Cathy with whom they prefer to be private and avoid the media.

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Meet her second son Richard Simmons

Born Milton Teagan Richard Simmons on July 12, 1948. Richard is Shirley May Simmons last born with her husband Leonard Douglas Snr. Growing up, Richard was a known glutton who overate causing him to gain massive weight at a very young age an act he later regretted.

He graduated from Florida State University with a first degree in arts. After graduating, Richard took up a new role at a restaurant where he worked as a host before finally quitting to be a fitness coach.

Richard opened his fitness center where he educated people on how to lose weight through exercise and observing a healthy diet routine.

He then started his reality show called the ”Real people” where his weight loose workouts were broadcasted on the national television and also his YouTube channel TheWeightSaint. Richard through his weight-loose teachings has been able to help millions of obese people.

Richard at one point went on a very long hiatus which had people speculating he has been held hostage by his housekeeper. Some also said he was hiding from the public because he has put up weight but he later came out to deny everything saying he was doing fine.

Richard has also been accused many times of being transgender, with one popular news website alleging he underwent surgery to change his hormones and fix breast on his chest. The accusation didn’t sit well with him which made him resort to suing them.

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Shirley died on February 28, 1999, at the age of 87 after being struck down by an unknown illness. She was buried at the Metairie cemetery in New Orleans.

Shirley May Simmons Net worth

Shirley’s net worth was a piece of information that was never made known, but the late dancer and businesswoman lived a very comfortable life. She reportedly made enough money from her fan dance profession and also the selling of cosmetics.

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Some FAQs about Shirley May Simmons

How many children did Shirley May Simmons have?

Shirley had two kids Leonard Douglas Simmons Jnr and Richard Simmons.

What was Shirley May Simmons profession?

She was a fan dancer but later ventured into business and was selling of cosmetics.

What age did Shirley May Simmons die?

She died at the age of 87 in 1999.