Maria Teresa Thierstein Simões-Ferreira Heinz commonly known as Teresa Heinz Kerry (born October 5, 1938) is an American philanthropist, the widow of the late U.S. Senator H. John Heinz III, and the wife of Senator John Kerry.
According to her official biography, Teresa was born Maria Teresa Thierstein Simões Ferreira to Portuguese parents in Portuguese East Africa, at the time a colony and now the independent nation of Mozambique. Her father was José Simões Ferreira Júnior (1910-1989; born in Albergaria-a-Velha, and died in Porto, Portugal), and her mother was Irene Thierstein (1912-1997), born a Portuguese and British national in Lourenço Marques, daughter of Alberto Thierstein, a British national of Swiss origin from Valletta, Malta (at the time a British-ruled territory), and Maria Burló, born in Alexandria, Egypt, who both migrated to Portuguese East Africa.
Teresa (Portuguese pronunciation: ) grew up in Portuguese East Africa' capital, Lourenço Marques (now called Maputo). Her father was a medical doctor, and "Teresinha" (which means "Little Teresa" or "Terri" in Portuguese) led a relatively privileged life. Her father, however, often brought her along on his calls into the African bush, where she witnessed how those of lesser means lived.