Jay Pritzker

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Jay Pritzker
Born Jay Arthur Pritzker
(1922-08-26)August 26, 1922
Chicago, Illinois
Died January 23, 1999(1999-01-23) (aged 76)
Nationality USA
Alma mater J.D. Northwestern University School of Law
Occupation Businessman
Known for Co-founder of Hyatt Corporation
Spouse(s) Marian "Cindy" Friend
Children 5
--Nancy Pritzker (deceased)
--Thomas Pritzker
--John Pritzker
--Daniel Pritzker
--Jean "Gigi" Pritzker
Parents Abram Nicholas Pritzker
Fanny Doppelt

Jay Arthur Pritzker (August 26, 1922 – January 23, 1999) was an American entrepreneur, conglomerate organizer, and member of the Pritzker family.

Early life and education[edit]

Pritzker was born to a Jewish family that arrived in Chicago from a Jewish ghetto near Kiev in 1881[1] in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Fanny (née Doppelt) and A.N. Pritzker and the father of Dan Pritzker. He had two brothers: Donald Pritzker and Robert Pritzker.[2] Pritzker graduated with a J.D. from the Northwestern University School of Law in 1947.[3]


Pritzker diversified the Chicago-based family business - which then consisted of the Prizker & Prizker law firm run by his uncle Harry Nicholas Pritzker and the investments made by his father and his uncle Jack Nicholas Pritzker - into the Marmon Group holding company. With his brother Robert Pritzker, he built a portfolio of 60 diversified industrial corporations. He created the Hyatt Hotel chain in 1957 with his brother Donald Pritzker and owned Braniff Airlines from 1983–1988.

In 1979 he established the Pritzker Architecture Prize.

In 1996, he and his wife Cindy received the National Building Museum's Honor Award.[4]

In 2004, the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, designed by architect Frank Gehry, was completed as part of Millennium Park in downtown Chicago.

Personal life[edit]

Pritzker was married to Marian "Cindy" Friend, the daughter of Illinois appellate judge Hugo Friend,[5][6] for 51 years.[7] They had five children:[8]

  • Nancy Pritzker (born 1948), committed suicide in 1971 at age 24. The University of Chicago medical school is named for her.[9]
  • Thomas Pritzker (born 1951), served as chairman of Hyatt Foundation, chairman of Marmon Holdings, and as a director of Royal Caribbean, and the Pritzker Foundation.[8]
  • John Pritzker (born 1953), runs his own private equity firm Geolo Capital which focuses on investments in hospitality, entertainment and health and wellness companies. In 2010, he purchased a majority interest in the Joie de Vivre hotel chain and later merging it with the Pomeranc family's Thompson Hotel Group.[8]
  • Daniel Pritzker (born 1959), musician and filmmaker who served as a trustee of the Jay Pritzker Foundation along with his wife, Karen. He also founded the Jay Pritzker Academy in Ta Chet, Cambodia; and is a prominent supporter of Providence St. Mel High School in Chicago and Tufts University.[8] He is the owner of Jerry Garcia's famed guitar "Wolf", which he purchased at auction for $789,500.
  • Jean "Gigi" Pritzker (born 1962), film and play producer and is CEO of Odd Lot Entertainment.[8]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]