Mellody Hobson

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Mellody Hobson
Mellody Hobson.jpg
Hobson in 2012
Born (1969-04-03) April 3, 1969 (age 50)
Alma materPrinceton University (B.A.)
OccupationFinancial/Investment Management Executive
Years active1991–present
George Lucas (m. 2013)

Mellody Hobson (born April 3, 1969) is an American businesswoman who is the president and co-CEO of Ariel Investments.[1] She is the former chairwoman of DreamWorks Animation,[2] having stepped down after negotiating the acquisition of DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc., by NBCUniversal in August, 2016. In 2017, she became the first African-American woman to head The Economic Club of Chicago.[3]

Early life[edit]

Hobson was born in Chicago, Illinois. She attended Ogden Elementary School and later was educated at St. Ignatius College Prep high school, and subsequently attended Princeton University graduating from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.


Soon after her graduation from Princeton in 1991, Hobson joined Ariel Investments as an intern and rose to become the firm's senior vice president and director of marketing. In 2000, she ascended to become the president of Ariel, a Chicago investment firm that manages nearly $13 billion in assets.[4] It is also one of the largest African American-owned money management and mutual fund companies in the United States.[5]

Hobson is also Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Ariel Investment Trust. She is a regular contributor on financial issues on CBS This Morning and formerly a spokesperson for the annual Ariel/Schwab Black Investor Survey.

Hobson serves on the board of many organizations, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., the Chicago Public Education Fund, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art and the Sundance Institute. She is also a director of the Starbucks Corporation, and formerly a director of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.. Hobson has been acclaimed in selections such as Time's 2015 Time 100 List, the magazine's annual list of the one hundred most influential people in the world).,[6] Ebony magazine's "20 Leaders of the Future" (1992), Working Women Magazine's "20 Under 30" (1992), the World Economic Forum's "Global Leaders of Tomorrow" (2001), Esquire's "America's Best and Brightest" (2002), The Wall Street Journal's 50 "Women to Watch" (2004).[7]

Hobson created and hosted a show on ABC on May 29, 2009, called Unbroke: What You Need to Know About Money, featuring celebrities such as the Jonas Brothers, Oscar the Grouch and Samuel L. Jackson.[8]

Actress Vanessa L. Williams based her character, self-made businesswoman Courtney Paige (in the American television drama, The Good Wife), on Hobson, studying her via Hobson's TED talks.[9] In 2017, Hobson was named to head the Economic Club of Chicago, the first African-American woman to do so.[10]

On August 6, 2017 Hobson guest hosted CBS Sunday Morning's annual "Money Issue" episode. [11]

On June 4, 2018, Hobson was named as Vice-Chair of Starbucks Corporation.[12]


Mellody Hobson was inducted as a Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and awarded the Order of Lincoln (the State’s highest honor) by the Governor of Illinois in 2018. [13]

Personal life[edit]

Hobson began dating film director and producer George Lucas in 2006, after they met at a business conference.[14][15][16][17][18] Hobson and Lucas announced their engagement in January 2013,[19] and were married on June 22, 2013, at Lucas' Skywalker Ranch.[20] They have one daughter together, Everest Hobson Lucas, who was born via surrogacy in August 2013.[21]

Hobson was photographed by Annie Leibovitz for the 2016 Pirelli Calendar.[22]

She appeared on the Jack Good Show in August 2017, where she accepted the City of Birmingham's deepest appreciation for her charitable work with Birmingham's Bright Leaders of Tomorrow.[23]


  1. ^ Roeder, David. "Mellody Hobson named co-CEO of Ariel Investments". Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  2. ^ Mellody Hobson: Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dreamworks Animation website. Accessed 11-01-15
  3. ^ Marotti, Ally. "Mellody Hobson to chair Economic Club of Chicago, first black woman in post". Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  4. ^ "Ariel Investments, LLC". Ariel Investments.
  5. ^ "Page not found - The HistoryMakers". Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  6. ^ "Mellody Hobson: The World's 100 Most Influential People". Time. April 15, 2015.
  7. ^ The 50 Women to Watch, and The Wall Street Journal, 2004
  8. ^ News, A. B. C. (May 29, 2009). "Un-Broke: What You Need to Know About Money". ABC News. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  9. ^ "Vanessa Williams on Miss America apology, "The Good Wife"". ‘’CBS This Morning’’. November 12, 2015. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
  10. ^ "Mellody Hobson makes history at Economic Club". Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 7, 2017. Retrieved August 7, 2017.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^
  13. ^ "2018 Laureates Announced". The Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  14. ^ Zwecker, Bill (October 27, 2011). "Paula Abdul 'outraged' after Steve Jones cuts her off on 'X Factor'". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on October 29, 2011.
  15. ^ Rush, George and Joanna Molloy (February 27, 2007). "An Oscar winner for best crowd scene". New York: NY Daily News. Retrieved September 13, 2011.[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ Waggoner, John (July 6, 2009). "Kudos to 8 stock mutual funds that have clawed back to profits". USA Today. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
  17. ^ Sokolov, Raymond (February 27, 2011). "Chicago Steps Out". The Daily Beast. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
  18. ^ McCormick, John (April 14, 2011). "Obama's Money Pump for 2012 Re-Election Bid Primed by Chicago". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
  19. ^ Schillaci, Sophie (January 3, 2013). "George Lucas Engaged to DreamWorks Animation Chairman Mellody Hobson". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  20. ^ Billups, Andrea (June 24, 2013). "George Lucas Marries Mellody Hobson". People. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  21. ^ "Everest Hobson Lucas Born To George Lucas And Mellody Hobson". Huffington Post. August 12, 2013. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  22. ^ "Annie Leibovitz Unveils 2016 Pirelli Calendar". Retrieved August 21, 2017.

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