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Chicagoan is First Transgender Person on Forbes Richest 400 List

By Benjamin Woodard | September 16, 2013 2:41pm | Updated on September 17, 2013 8:50am
 Billionaire Jennifer Natalya Pritzker told employees in August that she wished to identify as a woman.
Billionaire Jennifer Natalya Pritzker told employees in August that she wished to identify as a woman.
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therichest.com

CHICAGO — Jennifer Natalya Pritzker, formerly known as Col. James Pritzker, made history Monday becoming the first transgender person to make the Forbes 400 list of the country's richest people.

Pritzker announced last month that "in all business and personal undertakings" she would be known as a woman and legally change her name in order to "reflect the beliefs of her true identity."

Forbes on Monday released its list of the 400 richest Americans. Pritzker landed at No. 327 with a net worth of $1.7 billion. Last year, she was worth $200 million less, but ranked higher at No. 311.

She became "the first transgender billionaire and first Forbes 400 member to switch gender," noted Forbes.

Pritzker, of Evanston, rarely makes public appearances or speaks about her personal life, but has invested millions of dollars to develop and preserve the city's Far North Side.

In Rogers Park, her Tawani Enterprises has preserved such buildings as the Mayne Stage, the 13-story Farcroft Building, the Emil Bach House, the Cat's Cradle Bed and Breakfast and has also won the alderman's approval to build a four-story parking garage on North Sheridan Road, despite opposition.

Pritzker also founded the Pritzker Military Library in downtown Chicago and could open two bed and breakfasts in Kenwood Frank Lloyd Wright homes.

Last month, the Evanston city council killed Pritzker's proposal to buy a historic, lakefront mansion and convert it into a boutique hotel.

Jennifer is part of the Pritzker family, most famous for owning the Hyatt hotel chain. Jennifer's father, Robert, founded the Marmon Group, best known for railroad tankers.