Penny Pritzker and Bryan Traubert
Investments, technology, and real estate development and management
Part of Chicago’s prominent Pritzker family, which controls the Hyatt hotel fortune, Penny Pritzker is a celebrated businesswoman, supplementing her family inheritance with substantial earnings, much of them from business ventures in the field of real estate. After her graduation from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Pritzker soon added a joint business and law degree from Stanford to her resume in 1985. She was determined to succeed in a male-dominated business world—and also to lead it. “It was hard,” she said in 2014 in an interview with Fortune, which placed her on its Fortune 500 list. “Most of what I did for the family I built from scratch.” In 2019, her net worth was valued at around $2.4 billion. “I love building businesses,” she said. “It’s so cool!”
With more than a dozen startups to her name, the steadfast entrepreneur shows no signs of slowing down. She served as Secretary of Commerce in the Obama Administration, after raising hundreds of millions of dollars that went to his 2008 campaign against Hillary Clinton, who was then competing for the Democratic U.S. Presidential nomination. She was described by Politico as “the only multibillionaire in the Obama Cabinet.” Pritzker is known in the Windy City for her art patronage, and was formerly chair of the board at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Her collection is focused on contemporary art, and with her husband Bryan Traubert, she owns works by Albert Oehlen and Doris Salcedo, among many other artists. The Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation supports Chicago’s youth through education, health, and art and culture. When she isn’t buying art, overseeing business ventures, or fundraising, she indulges another of her hobbies: running marathons.