Billionaire Supporting Trans Military Personnel Comes Out As Transgender

The billionaire who gave $1.35 million to study the ability of transgender people to serve openly in the military has come out as transgender. Jennifer Natalya Pritzker announced in a memo to employees of the Pritzker Military Library and Tawani Enterprises, a private investment firm, that she had legally changed her name from James.

“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,” according to a statement released to Crain’s Chicago Business. 

Pritzker, who is a cousin of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, comes from a prominent Chicago family. Last month, the Tawani Foundation, which Jennifer Pritzker founded, gave the Palm Center a grant to study the possibility of including transgender troops in the military. The Palm Center had previously conducted many studies supporting the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

As James, Pritzker, who is 61, served 11 years in active duty in the military, followed by 16 years in the National Guard. She is listed on Forbes‘ list of 1000 leading billionaires.

Photo credit: EvanstonNow.com

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #jamespritzker #jenniferpritzker #transgender stories and more


  • Teleny

    Congrats Jennifer!!! It’s a hard step to take, but it will get easier!!!!

  • Alan down in Florida

    Jennifer I wish you only the best. May you find the happiness you deserve.

  • Nikkidane


  • DarkZephyr

    Congratulations Jennifer. :)

  • Kangol

    Congratulations to you, Jennifer, and thank you for using part of your vast fortune to help others, especially very vulnerable people like trans people in the military!

Comments are closed.