Jennifer Pritzker

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Jennifer Natalya Pritzker
Born James Nicholas Pritzker
1950 (age 66–67)
Nationality United States
Ethnicity Jewish
Education B.A. Loyola University (Chicago)
Occupation investor and philanthropist
Known for Creating Tawani Foundation, Pritzker Military Library
Net worth Increase US$ 1.7 billion (January 2016)[1]
Spouse(s) divorced
Children daughter Tal Hava Pritzker
(with unnamed first wife)
sons Andrew, William
(with Lisa I. Goren)
Parent(s) Robert Pritzker
Audrey Gilbert

Jennifer Natalya Pritzker (born James Nicholas Pritzker in 1950) is a billionaire investor and philanthropist, and a member of the Pritzker family. Pritzker retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the United States Army in 2001, and was later made an honorary Colonel in the Illinois Army National Guard. Creator of the Tawani Foundation in 1995, Tawani Enterprises in 1996, and the Pritzker Military Library in 2003, Pritzker has been devoted to civic applications of inherited and accrued wealth, including through significant donations aimed at broadening understanding and support for "citizen soldiers." In August 2013, Pritzker released a statement to individuals associated with two business and philanthropic organizations that subsequently received wide media coverage, indicating the change from "J.N." to "Jennifer Natalya" as reflecting her desire to be identified as a woman.

Early life and education

Jennifer Pritzker was born James Nicholas Pritzker[2] to the Jewish family of Audrey (née Gilbert) and Robert Pritzker of Chicago, Illinois,[citation needed] and so was a grandchild of A.N. Pritzker.[3] She has two siblings, Linda Pritzker (b. 1953) and Karen Pritzker Vlock (b. 1958).[4] Her parents divorced in 1979, and she has two half-siblings, Matthew Pritzker and Liesel Pritzker Simmons, from the remarriage of her father, Robert, to Irene Dryburgh in 1980.[5] (Her mother also remarried, to Albert B. Ratner in 1981.[6])

Pritzker says one of her most memorable experiences in life were in Israel in October 1973 when she witnessed events of the Yom Kippur War.[2]

College and enlisted service

Pritzker enlisted in the U.S. Army on February 8, 1974, and served with the HQ Troop, and with the B Troop, 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, both in the 82nd Airborne Division based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where she rose to the rank of Sergeant.[2] Her roles while enlisted included aviation repair parts clerk, rifleman, and fire team leader. She completed her enlistment in February 1977.[2] Pritzker enrolled at Loyola University of Chicago,[when?] majoring in history, and entered its Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps program.[2] Pritzker graduated with a BA in History in May 1979, and received commission as an Army officer that same month.[2]

Career

Pritzker first served with the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, with duty assignments that included leading rifle and TOW platoons, and time in the Commandant Division,[verification needed] and the Anti-Armor School.[2] Pritzker served as a staff officer with the VII Corps at Kelley Barracks,[citation needed] in Germany, from 1984–1985.[2] Her active duty ended in 1985.[7][verification needed] After 16 years in the Army Reserves and Illinois Army National Guard,[8] Pritzker retired from the United States Army as a lieutenant colonel, in 2001.[9] After retiring, Pritzker was promoted to the honorary rank of Colonel in the Illinois Army National Guard.[7][better source needed]

While serving,[where?] Pritzker was awarded[when?] the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Achievement Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Good Conduct Medal, the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, the National Defense Service Medal with Star, the Antarctic Service Medal, the Outstanding Military Volunteer Service Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with 20 year Device, the NCO Professional Development Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon, the Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon, the State of Louisiana Legion of Merit, the State of Illinois Long and Honorable Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the State of Illinois Military Attendance Ribbon with Numeral 7, the U.S. Army Parachute Badge and the Air Assault Badge.[7][verification needed]

Pritzker earned airborne badges from Israel, Russia, Canada, the Netherlands, and Great Britain,[2][7][verification needed] as well as from Poland;[7][verification needed] according to Steven Mrozek, "Most memorable of these was a parachute jump at the North Pole with the Russians in 1993."[2]

Pritzker has founded or served with a number of business and philanthropic organizations. In 1996, she incorporated Tawani Enterprises, where she served as President and CEO,[2] a business entity with current stated purpose as a "private wealth management company established to manage the personal wealth, philanthropic endeavors, and military interests of Colonel (IL) J.N. Pritzker."[10][11][better source needed] Interests of the company include significant Chicago real estate holdings.[12][better source needed] In 1995, Pritzker created the Tawani Foundation, and in 2003, she founded the Pritzker Military Library, both dedicated to the understanding and support of the "citizen soldier."[7][8] In addition, Pritzger serves as Chairwoman of the Board of the Connecticut-based private equity firm Squadron Capitol LLC, in which she has been identified a principle investor.[8][when?][7][better source needed][13][better source needed] Finally, Pritzker has served as Special Projects Director for the National Strategy Forum,[when?][14] as Chairman of the Board and co-owner of National Security Ltd. (1988-1995),[verification needed][15][better source needed][2] and is active in number of further philanthropic enterprises.[clarification needed][2]

Family businesses

Jennifer Pritzker's father Robert, and her brothers Jay and Donald, built and diversified a Chicago-based family business, the Marmon Group, into a holding company of more than 60 diverse industrial corporations;[citation needed] they also created the Hyatt Hotel chain in 1957, and owned Braniff Airlines from 1983–1988.[1] The family later began divesting of many of these assets. In 2006, the family sold Conwood, a smokeless tobacco company, for $3.5 billion to cigarette company Reynolds American Inc.[16] In 2007, the family sold a 60% stake, and so control of the Marmon Group to Berkshire Hathaway for $4.5 billion,[1] a sale that it completed in 2013.[17][better source needed] In 2010, the family sold its majority stake in Transunion, the Chicago-based credit reporting company, to Chicago-based private-equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners for an undisclosed amount.[16] As a member of the Robert's line of the Pritzker family, Jennifer Prizker has inherited and accumulated wealth that is estimated at US$1.7 billion.[1]

Philanthropy

Pritzker created the Tawani Foundation in 1995,[18] which aims "to enhance the awareness and understanding of the importance of the Citizen Soldier; to preserve unique sites of significance to American and military history; to foster health and wellness projects for improved quality of life; and to honor the service of military personnel, past, present and future."[18][19] In 2003, the Tawani Foundation made a $1.35 million donation to the Palm Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara, to study the feasibility of transgender people serving in the military and in the ranks of police and fire departments.[8] In 2013, the Foundation donated $25 million to Norwich University, in Northfield, Vermont, the school credited with developing and establishing the first Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program in the country.[20] So closely tied is this founder to the Foundation, that news reports of the Foundation's gifts refer to Jennifer Pritzker and the Foundation, interchangeably, as being the donor (e.g., in the Norwich gift).[20] In 2016, through her Foundation, Pritzker gave a $2 million donation to create the world’s first endowed academic chair of transgender studies, at the University of Victoria in British Columbia; Aaron Devor was chosen as the inaugural chair.[21]

Personal life

Pritzker has a daughter from a first marriage, Tal Hava Pritzker, and two sons, Andrew and William, from her marriage to Lisa I. Goren.[2][7] She is currently divorced.[when?][1][verification needed]

On August 16, 2013, a statement was released to employees at Tawani Enterprises and the Pritzker Military Library indicating Pritzker to be the world's first openly transgender billionaire;[22] the announcement read:

As of August 16, 2013, J. N. Pritzker will undergo an official legal name change, will now be known as Jennifer Natalya Pritzker. This change will reflect the beliefs of her true identity that she has held privately and will now share publicly. Pritzker now identifies herself as a woman for all business and personal undertakings.[23]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Forbes Staff (2016). "Forbes 400: #389, Jennifer Pritzker" (online) (January 19). Retrieved 19 January 2016. 
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 Mrozek, Steven J. (2000). "James Nicholas Pritzker". 82nd Airborne Division. Nashville, TN, USA: Turner Publishing. pp. 168f. ISBN 1563113643. Retrieved 20 January 2016. 
  3. Worthy, Ford S. (1988). "The Pritzkers Unveiling a Private Family" (online). CNN Money (April 25). 
  4. Wall Street Journal: "Caught a Good Break" November 26, 2013
  5. CNN Money: "THE PRITZKERS UNVEILING A PRIVATE FAMILY Can you believe it? These billionaires actually like each other. But as Pritzkers proliferate, a worry arises: Can they maintain their striking success – and keep everyone happy?" By Ford S. Worthy April 25, 1988
  6. "Finding aid for the Ratner Family Papers". ohiolink.edu. Retrieved 20 January 2016. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 Pritzker, Jennifer (2016). "Board of Directors: Colonel (IL) Jennifer N. Pritzker, IL ARNG (Retired), Founder & Chair". Chicago, IL, USA: pritzkermilitary.org. Retrieved 20 January 2016. [Extensive list of self-published biographical information.] 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Kapos, Shia (2013). "James Pritzker Opens New Chapter in His Life" (online, print). Crain's Chicago Business (August 23). 
  9. Harris, Melissa; McCoppin, Robert; Goldsborough, Bob (2013). "The World of Jennifer Pritzker" (online, print). Chicago Tribune (September 22). Retrieved 20 January 2016. Subtitle: An heir to the Hyatt Hotels fortune who changed his identity from male to female has a far-reaching impact on Illinois real estate, business and philanthropy. 
  10. "About Tawani Enterprises, Inc.". tawanienterprises.com. Retrieved 20 January 2016. 
  11. ilsos.gov [Ill. Secretary of State] (20 January 2016). "Corp/LLC Certificate of Good Standing: Search, Name = Tawani Enterprises or File number = 58832855". ilsos.gov. Retrieved 20 January 2016. Incorporation Date (Domestic), 04/23/1996. 
  12. "Tawani Enterprises". curbed.com. Retrieved 20 January 2016. 
  13. Pace, Richard D. (2015). "Chromogenex – Owned By Squadron Capital – Sued Again" (online). Everything-PR (November 21). Retrieved 20 January 2016. 
  14. "About NSF". National Strategy Forum Blog. Retrieved 20 January 2016. 
  15. ilsos.gov [Ill. Secretary of State] (20 January 2016). "Corp/LLC Certificate of Good Standing: Search, Name = National Security, Ltd or File number = 54981066". ilsos.gov. Retrieved 20 January 2016. Incorporation Date (Domestic), 02/25/1988… VOLUNTARY DISSOLUTION 12 26 95. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 Wernau, Julie (2011). "Pritzker Family Could Soon Own Less Than Half of Hyatt" (online, print). Chicago Tribune (April 19). 
  17. Buffett, Warren E. (2013). "Letter from Warren E. Buffett, Chairman of the Board, "To the Shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.," dated February 28, 2014" (PDF). Omaha, NE: Berkshire Hathaway. Retrieved 19 January 2016. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 Williams, Bailey (2014). "Evanston Billionaire, Philanthropist Named One of the Most Influential LGBT Voices" (online, print). The Daily Northwestern (April 16). Retrieved 20 January 2016. In 1995, Pritzker founded the Tawani Foundation, which works to preserve military history and historical sites. The foundation’s mission is to emphasize the importance of the 'citizen soldier'… 
  19. "Board of Directors". Tawani Foundation. Retrieved 2016-01-20. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 Kapos, Shia (2013). "James Pritzker Donates $25 Million to Norwich U." (online, print). Crain's Chicago Business (April 29). Retrieved 19 January 2016. 
  21. "Jennifer Pritzker's Foundation Gives $2 Million for Transgender Studies at Canadian University". Tablet Magazine. 
  22. Solomon, Brian (2013). "Jennifer Pritzker Becomes First Transgender Billionaire" (online). Forbes (September 16). Retrieved 2016-01-20. 
  23. Fisher, Alexandria (2013). "Evansgender Billionaire" (online). Forbes (September 16). Retrieved 2016-01-20.