Paris Whitney Hilton (born February 17, 1981) is an American socialite, heiress, celebutante, model, media personality, singer and actress.
She is known for her appearance in a sex tape in 2004, her appearance on the television series The Simple Life, her several minor film roles (most notably her role in the horror film House of Wax in 2005), her 2004 tongue-in-cheek autobiography, her 2006 album Paris, and her work in modeling. As a result of several legal incidents, Hilton also served a widely publicized sentence in a Los Angeles County jail in 2007.
Born in New York City, Hilton is the oldest of four children of Richard and Kathy Hilton (née Avanzino). She has a sister, Nicky, and brothers, Conrad and Barron. Her father is of German and Norwegian ancestry and her mother is of Italian and Irish ancestry.
On the maternal side of her family, she is a niece of two child stars of the 1970s, Kim Richards and Kyle Richards. Hilton was related by marriage to Nicole Richie’s godmother, Nancy Davis, when Nancy’s brother, Greg, was married to Kim Richards.
Hilton’s paternal grandparents are hotel chairman Barron Hilton, and his wife, the former Marilyn Hawley; Barron Hilton’s parents were Hilton Hotels founder Conrad Hilton and his first wife, Mary Barron.
Hilton moved between several exclusive homes in her youth, including a suite in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan, Beverly Hills, and the Hamptons. As a child she was good friends with Nicole Richie and Kim Kardashian. She attended her freshman year of high school at the Marywood-Palm Valley School in Rancho Mirage, California followed by the Dwight School in New York for her sophomore and junior years. Famously she went to school here with Lady Gaga. She was then transferred to the Canterbury Boarding School, in New Milford, Connecticut where she was a member of the ice hockey team. However, in early 1999, she was expelled for violating the school rules. Hilton later earned her GED.
In December 2007, Hilton’s grandfather Barron Hilton pledged 97 percent of his estate to a charitable organization founded by his father, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. An immediate pledge of $1.2 billion was made, with a further $1.1 billion due after his death. He cited his father’s actions as the motivation for his pledge. According to reports, the potential inheritance of his grandchildren is sharply diminished.
Hilton has worked as a model, actress, musician, and engaged in occasional business pursuits. According to Forbes Magazine, she earned approximately $2 million in 2003–2004, $6.5 million in 2004–2005, and $7 million in 2005–2006.
As a model
Hilton began modeling as a child, initially at charity events. When she was 19, she signed with Donald Trump’s modeling agency, T Management. Hilton has also worked with Ford Models in New York, Models 1 Agency in London, Nous Model Management in Los Angeles, and Premier Model Management in London. She has appeared in numerous advertising campaigns, including Iceberg Vodka, GUESS, Tommy Hilfiger, Christian Dior, and Marciano. In 2001, Hilton began to develop a reputation as a socialite, being identified as “New York’s leading It Girl” whose fame was beginning to “extend beyond the New York tabloids”. She has appeared in several magazines, including the April 2004 issue of Maxim.