Donald Pritzker

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Donald Pritzker
Born Donald N. Pritzker
(1932-10-31)October 31, 1932
Chicago, Illinois
Died May 6, 1972(1972-05-06) (aged 39)
Honolulu, Hawaii
Nationality United States
Ethnicity Jewish
Alma mater B.A. Harvard University
J.D. University of Chicago
Occupation Businessman
Known for President of the Hyatt Corporation
Spouse(s) Sue Sandel
Children 3
--Penny Pritzker
--Anthony Pritzker
--Jay Robert Pritzker
Parent(s) Abram Nicholas Pritzker
Fanny Doppelt

Donald N. Pritzker (October 31, 1932 – May 6, 1972) was an American entrepreneur, businessman, and member of the wealthy Pritzker family.

Early life and education[edit]

Pritzker was born to a Jewish family[1] in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Fanny (née Doppelt) and A.N. Pritzker. He had two older brothers: Jay Pritzker (1922 - 1999) and Robert Pritzker (1926 - 2011).[2] Pritzker graduated with a B.A. from Harvard University and a J.D. from the law school at the University of Chicago.[3]


In 1961, after he graduated from law school, he went to work for the family company, the Marmon Group.[4] His elder brother Jay Pritzker assigned him the task of managing the Hyatt Hotel chain.[4] Donald moved to Atherton, California and went about developing the chain and soon became Hyatt's president. In 1967, the Pritzkers bought a newly built hotel in downtown Atlanta out of bankruptcy which had an unusual design consisting of a 21 story atrium lobby with external glass elevators, fountains, and caged tropical birds. Donald renamed it the Hyatt Regency Atlanta; it became an instant success and served as the architectural model for all future Hyatt hotels.[4]

Donald was credited with "setting the tone for the culture and philosophy at Hyatt" and presided over its growth from a six hotel chain to the 5th largest hotel chain in the world at the time of his death.[4]

Personal life and death[edit]

Donald Pritzker was married to Sue Sandel.[5] They had three children:[4]

Pritzker died in 1972 at age 39 of a heart attack while playing tennis at a Hyatt hotel in Honolulu.[4] His wife died 10 years later in an accident at age 49.[5]