Jennifer Pritzker is first transgender billionaire

jennifer-pritzker-james-transgender-billionaire.jpgOnly 12 percent of the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans are female, but in 2013, the ranks gained one member from the other side of the list -- Jennifer Pritzker, 63, formerly James, officially changed her listing to female and has become the world's first transgender billionaire.

The Pritzker family, based out of Chicago and heirs to the Hyatt Hotel fortune, have 11 family members on the Forbes 400 list. Jennifer has an estimated net worth of $1.7 billion. A spokesperson for Pritzker's family investment firm, Tawani Enterprises, confirms to Forbes that Jennifer is transgender but that the name change won't be legally finalized until late October.

"As of Aug. 16, 2013, J.N. Pritzker will undergo an official legal name change, will now be known as Jennifer Natalya Pritzker. This change will reflect the beliefs of her true identity that she has held privately and will now share publicly," says a statement to Chicago Business. "Pritzker now identifies herself as a woman for all business and personal undertakings."

Earlier this year, Pritzker, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, gave $1.35 million to the Palm Center, a UC-Santa Barbara research institute focusing on issues of sexuality, gender and the military, to fund a Transgender Military Service Initiative, with the goal being to sponsor research on transgender military service and to enhance the public dialogue on the issue.

A spokesperson for Pritzker has declined to address Pritzker's sexuality or any consideration of hormone therapy.
Photo/Video credit: Handout, via Chicago Tribune