Thursday, October 30, 2014 Headlines & Global News

Meet Jennifer Pritzker, America's First Transgender Billionaire (PHOTO)

By Bianca Facchinei b.facchinei@hngn.com | Sep 17, 2013 09:39 AM EDT

Former army colonel and hotel heiress Jennifer Pritzker is the first transgender billionaire to make the Forbes 400 list, ranked at #327, according to Forbes.

Jennifer Natalya Pritzker, formerly known as James, has an estimated net worth of $1.7 billion and is the CEO of Tawani Enterprises. Forbes stated her "source of wealth" from hotels, investments, and inheritance.

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She is one of 11 billionaires in of her family due to her father's industrial conglomerate Marmon Holdings, which sold to Berkshire Hathaway for $4.5 billion in 2007.  The family also owns publicly-listed Hyatt Hotels. 

Pritzker released a statement in August announcing her change. 

"As of Aug. 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." 

It is unknown if Pritzker will receive hormone therapy.

Before working in wealth management, Pritzker worked as an Army lieutenant colonel for 11 years and served 16 years in the National Guard before that. She founded Chicago's Pritzker Military Library in 2003 to preserve American military history and is an active philanthropist.

Earlier this year, Pritzker donated $1.35 million to create the Transgender Military Service Initiative. The goal of the organization is "to sponsor state-of-the-art scholarship on transgender military service, and to enhance the quality of public dialogue."

In April, she gave $25 million to Norwich University, where the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) was established.

Pritzker joins 46 other women on the list of 400 richest Americans. The wealthiest woman on the Forbes list is Christy Walton, who is estimated to have a net worth of $35.4 billion. According to Forbes, she is the world's wealthiest woman. 

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