Griffin, Zell and Pritzker top Forbes’ list of the state’s wealthiest people
Ken GriffinGriffin has again been ranked the state’s wealthiest resident. He’s even richer than he was last year. Griffin, the founder and CEO of Citadel investment firm, saw his fortune grow by a half- billion dollars to $ 8 billion, according to Forbes’ list of the wealthiest people on the planet.
Chicago businessmen Sam Zell and J. B. Pritzker, who rank second and third among Illinois billionaires, saw their wealth rise too.
The magazine says it was a record year for billionaires. The number of them jumped to 2,043 from1,810 the previous year. It’s the first time Forbes found more than 2,000 10- figure fortunes. Their total net worth rose by 18 percent to $ 7.67 trillion, also a record, says Forbes.
Most of Chicago’s billionaires saw an uptick in dollar signs, though real estate and casino magnate Neil Bluhm saw his wealth decline a bit— from$ 3.4 billion on the 2016 list to $ 3.2 billion.
Griffin, who ranks 166th among billionaires worldwide, has made headlines this past year for sharing that wealth. He pledged $ 12 million to repair Chicago’s lakefront trail and gave $ 5 million to the Field Museum.
Pritzker, the Chicago entrepreneur and philanthropist who’s considering a run for governor, saw his fortune rise to $ 3.4 billion, up from $ 3.2 billion the previous year.
Pritzker is joined on the list by numerous familymembers, including his siblings former U. S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker ($ 2.5 billion) and business partner Tony Pritzker ($ 3.4 billion). Their wealth came, in part, from their family’s ownership in Hyatt hotels. Other billionaires in the family include Hyatt Corp. President Tom Pritzker, film producer Gigi Pritzker, hotelier John Pritzker, real estate developer Jennifer Pritzker and businessman Nicholas Pritzker II.
Bill Gates is No. 1 overall— again— with $ 86 billion net worth. Warren Buffett is second with $ 75.6 billion. Forbes says Jeff Bezos had the best year of anyone as his net worth rose $ 27.6 billion to $ 72.8 billion. And President Donald Trump is 544th with $ 3.5 billion.
Speaking of billionaires
The city of Evanston doesn’t have Jennifer Pritzker to kick around anymore.
The heir to the Hyatt hotels fortune packed up and left town about sevenmonths ago to live farther up the North Shore.
For years Pritzker hadmade Evanston her home. She bought up a few old mansions and restored them to their original glory. She lived in one and turned two into elegant bed and breakfasts.
She was working to do more restorations but butted heads over the years with Evanston leaders.
Her proposal to convert the Harley Clarke Mansion into a boutique hotel was rejected.
Pritzker says she had hoped the city would consider each restoration project on a “case- by- case basis”” instead of blanket zoning rules.
I ran into her at the Landmarks Illinois gala last week. She didn’t want to discuss where she now resides. But that sprawling mansion she bought in Winnetka a few years ago looks like a nice place to relax.
Speaking of Landmarks
Democratic megadonor Fred Eychaner, who seldom speaks publicly but whose voice is powerful in progressive politics, , took to the microphone at the same Landmarks Illinois fundraiser.
His message:sage: “Keep fighting. Never ever give up.”
The words were directed to Chicago preservationists, but given Eychaner’s support for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, he might have been giving a nod to left- leaning friends too.
The Chicago businessman was the night’s honoree.
Shia Kapos’ Taking Names Names appears Tuesday and Wednesday. Read d more at shiakapos.com.
Ken Griffin SamZell J. B. Pritzker