A former Lieutenant Colonel in the US National Guard and heir to a billion dollar fortune has come out as transgender in a memo to employees.
Jennifer Pritzker, formerly known as James Pritzker, is a billionaire and one of the heirs of the Pritzker family that founded the Marmon Group of companies which includes the Hyatt hotel chain, the TransUnion credit agency, and a large stake in the Carnival Cruise Line.
Pritzker sent a memo to her Pritzker Military Library and Tawani Enterprises employees informing them of her name change and preferred gender.
‘As of Aug. 16, 2013, J.N. Pritzker will undergo an official legal name change, [and] will now be known as Jennifer Natalya Pritzker,’ a memo to staff read.
‘This change will reflect the beliefs of her true identity that she has held privately and will now share publicly. Pritzker now identifies herself as a woman for all business and personal undertakings.’
Pritzker has a daughter and two children from a previous marriage that ended with divorce and served 11 years in the US Army before 16 years service in the US National Guard.
A long time philanthropist, Pritsker opened the Pritzsker Military Library in Chicago in 2011.
Pritsker’s net worth is estimated at $1.5 billion and last month she funded a multi-year grant through the University of Los Angeles’ Palm Center for a study on the issue of openly transgender people serving in the military.
Project Director Indra Lusero launched the effort by commissioning 16 scholars to conduct 11 studies on whether and how the US armed forces could include transgender troops without undermining readiness on July 30.
‘This academic research will inform an important public conversation by providing facts and evidence about transgender military service and gender expression in armed
forces,’ Lusero said.
‘Militaries around the world are updating their policies, and we are already conducting research in Canada, Britain and Australia to learn whether their trans-inclusive regulations have impacted readiness.’