Jennifer Pritzker is a groundbreaker, and a very rich one at that.
The former lieutenant colonel in the Army and heir to the Chicago Pritzker family fortune has become the first transgender billionaire in America. A longtime member of the Forbes 400 list, which ranks America’s richest people, Pritzker had been known as James Pritzker.
In August James announced that she will now be known as Jennifer Pritzker.
Jennifer has quite a wealthy extended family. She is one of 11 billionaires in the extended Pritzker family on the Forbes list, with a personal estimated net worth of $1.7 billion.
The Pritzker family had a large infusion of cash in 2007 after selling a majority stake in industrial conglomerate Marmon Holdings to Warren Buffet and his company, Berkshire Hathaway. The family made $4.5 billion from the sale.
For at least the next few weeks, Jennifer Pritzker will still officially be James Pritzker, A spokesperson for the family’s investment office said Jennifer’s name change will not be finalized until the end of October.
“This change will reflect the beliefs of her true identity that she has held privately and will now share publicly,” the spokesman said. “Pritzker now identifies herself as a woman for all business and personal undertakings.”
Jennifer Pritzker has supported transgender causes in the past. After spending 11 years on active duty in the Army and another 16 years in the U.S. National Guard, she gave $1.35 million to the Palm Center to create the Transgender Military Service Initiative.
On its website, the center said it aims to foster dialogue about transgender people in the armed services.
“The goal of the project is to sponsor state-of-the-art scholarship on transgender military service, and to enhance the quality of public dialogue,” the site says. “The Palm Center will bring this research to the media, Congress, the United States Military Academy at West Point, the United States Naval Academy, the United States Air Force Academy, the Army War College and the National Defense University, and the Pentagon.”
Jennifer Pritzker ranked No. 327 on the Forbes 400.