Ellen Winspear earned her B.S. degree from Texas Christian University in Fashion Design. She then went on to earn her master's degree from Southern Methodist University in Academic Language Therapy. Following a career in fashion, teaching and private tutoring, she turned her focus to the Dallas community. She has served on numerous boards, including The Dallas Zoo, The Dallas Opera, the Simmons School of Education at Southern Methodist University and the Dallas Film Society. Winspear and her husband Don have two sons, each serving in a branch of the military.