J. B. Pritzker

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Person.png J. B. Pritzker  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(billionaire, businessman, politician)
J. B. Pritzker (cropped).jpg
Born19 January 1965
Alma materDuke University, Northwestern University School of Law
Member ofPritzker family
Multi-billionaire Governor of Illinois and member of the Pritzker family.

Employment.png Governor of Illinois

In office
January 14, 2019 - Present

Jay Robert "J. B." Pritzker is a multi-billionaire US businessman and politician whp became Governor of Illinois in 2019.

As Governor of Illinois, in 2020, Pritzker issued a stay-at-home order as part of the US Covid Lockdown which a judge later ruled exceeded his emergency authority and violated civil rights.[1]

Early life, family, and education

His sister, Penny Pritzker, also a billionaire, was US Secretary of commerce. Pritzker was born and raised in Atherton, California, a member of the Pritzker family, a Jewish family prominent in business during the late 20th century.[2][3] The Pritzkers are consistently named near the top of the Forbes "America's Richest Families" list.[4] He is one of three children of Sue (née Sandel) and Donald Pritzker,[5][6]

His grandfather Abe Pritzker, was a business lawyer.[7][8] who worked for the Chicago mob.

Political career

In the 2008 presidential election, Pritzker was national co-chairman of Hillary Clinton's campaign. He was a delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention and the 2016 Democratic National Convention. He supported President Barack Obama in the 2008 general election and helped bring the Clinton and Obama campaigns in Illinois together.[9]

Pritzker founded Democratic Leadership for the 21st Century,[10] a national organization dedicated to attracting voters under the age of 40 to the Democratic Party. He was also on the Washington, D.C. legislative staffs of U.S. Senator Terry Sanford (D-NC), U.S. Senator Alan J. Dixon (D-IL), and U.S. Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA), for whom he handled multiple domestic and international issues.

In 1998, he ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in Illinois's 9th congressional district, spending a half-million dollars from his personal fortune on television ads in the Chicago market.[11] Pritzker finished third among five candidates in the Democratic primary, receiving 20.48% of the vote, to then State Representative Jan Schakowsky's 45.14% and State Senator Howard W. Carroll's 34.40%.[12]

Rod Blagojevich FBI wiretap

In May 2017, the Chicago Tribune[13] published an 11-minute FBI wiretap of Pritzker and then-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich in 2008 discussing campaign contributions and options for Pritzker to be appointed to statewide office.[14] At the time, Pritzker was described as a "businessman with political ambitions". On the tapes, Blagojevich asked Pritzker if he would like to be appointed state treasurer, to which Pritzker, who has a background in finance, responded, "Yeah, that's the one I would want." Pritzker's general election opponent GOP Governor Bruce Rauner and Pritzker's Democratic primary opponents took issue with Pritzker's conduct.[15] Pritzker responded to the allegations by stating: "I've not been accused of any wrongdoing. I have not done anything wrong."[16] No allegations of wrongdoing were ever made by law enforcement against Pritzker.[17]

Pritzker later apologized for a number of controversial ccomments made in that private conversation taped by the FBI. Pritzker and Blagojevich discussed filling Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat, with Pritzker being recorded on the tapes as saying appointing then-Secretary of State Jesse White would "cover you on the African-American thing" and that he was the "least offensive" candidate.[18]

2018 Illinois gubernatorial campaign

On April 6, 2017, Pritzker announced he was running for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Illinois. His campaign received the endorsements of Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, Illinois Congressman Luis Gutiérrez, former Illinois Congressman Glenn Poshard, more than a dozen members of the Illinois General Assembly, twenty-one local labor unions, and the Illinois AFL-CIO.[19]

On August 10, 2017, Pritzker announced that his running mate would be freshman State Representative and fellow Chicago resident Juliana Stratton.[20] By December 2017, Pritzker had spent US$42 million of his own wealth on his campaign, without significant fundraising from any other source.[21] On March 20, 2018, he won the Democratic gubernatorial primary, handily beating each of his primary opponents by more than 20%. In the November general election, Pritzker defeated incumbent Republican governor Bruce Rauner. Pritzker received 54% of the vote, while Rauner received 39%.[22] Pritzker was well ahead of Rauner in most polls from the summer of 2018 onward, and won by the largest margin in a gubernatorial race since 1994.

In total, Pritzker had spent US$171.5 million of his own wealth on his campaign, primarily on digital outreach, television advertising, and staff.[23]

Philanthropic connections

Along with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Buffett Early Childhood Fund, the Irving Harris Foundation, and the George Kaiser Family Foundation, the Pritzker Family Foundation is a founding supporter of the First Five Years Fund, an organization focusing nationwide attention and resources on comprehensive, quality early care and learning programs for children from birth to age five.[24]

In 2013, Pritzker teamed with Goldman Sachs to fund the first-ever social impact bond for early childhood education.[25]


Event Participated in

WEF/Annual Meeting/202316 January 202320 January 2023Switzerland
World Economic Forum
The theme of the meeting was "Cooperation in a Fragmented World"
Many thanks to our Patrons who cover ~2/3 of our hosting bill. Please join them if you can.


  1. https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/04/judge-rules-illinois-governor-exceeded-authority-violated-civil-rights-coronavirus-stay-home-order/
  2. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/10/05/pritzker-rauner-illinois-governor-2018-221079
  3. http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/March-2014/power-jb-pritzker-profile/
  4. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Pritzker-family
  5. Chicago Tribune: "Mishap kills Sue Pritzker, widow of Hyatt Hotel founder, at age 49" May 8, 1982
  6. https://articles.latimes.com/1987-11-24/business/fi-24332_1_pritzker-family
  7. https://www.nytimes.com/1984/02/26/business/how-they-deal-and-multiply.html
  8. https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2006-09-24-0609220481-story.html
  9. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/08/jb-pritzker-and.html?cid=133587601
  10. https://www.nytimes.com/1991/10/14/us/seeking-electoral-edge-parties-court-the-young.html
  11. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1998-02-26/news/9802260318_1_pritzker-9th-district-campaign-tv-ads
  12. https://www.cookcountyclerk.com/sites/default/files/March1998.pdf Official Final Results
  13. https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-jb-pritzker-rod-blagojevich-fbi-wiretap-recordings-met-0601-20170531-story.html
  14. https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-jb-pritzker-rod-blagojevich-fbi-wiretap-recordings-met-0601-20170531-story.html
  15. https://abc7chicago.com/politics/rauner-plans-to-air-entire-blagojevich-pritzker-wiretap/2963761/
  16. https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-met-kennedy-pritzker-biss-democrat-illinois-forum-tribune-20180119-story.html
  17. https://chicago.suntimes.com/chicago-news/blago-wiretaps-show-pritzker-looking-for-political-appointment/
  18. https://www.chicagotribune.com/politics/ct-met-jb-pritzker-apologizes-african-american-voters-20180206-story.html
  19. https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-jb-pritzker-illinois-afl-cio-endorsement-met-0607-20170606-story.html
  20. https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-jb-pritzker-running-mate-met-20170809-story.html
  21. http://nprillinois.org/post/moneyball-2018-illinois-governors-race#stream/0
  22. https://www.washingtonpost.com/election-results/illinois/
  23. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/11/15/jb-pritzker-illinois-governors-race-2018-strategy-spending-2020-222574
  24. https://web.archive.org/web/20101027073239/http://ffyf.org/index.php/who-we-are/philanthropic-partners
  25. https://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/06/12/goldman-to-invest-in-utah-preschool-program/