The Pritzker fortune and the Obama campaign

By Laurie Bennett

June 2, 2011 at 9:36am

Tonight, President Obama will speak at a ceremony honoring this year’s winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, named for the family that built a fortune with the Hyatt Hotels chain.

It certainly won’t be the last time that the Pritzker name comes up in association with Obama.

Chicagoan Penny Pritzker, daughter of Hyatt co-founder Donald Pritzker, was national finance chair for the 2008 Obama campaign. She also was a member of Obama’s economic advisory committee and co-chair of the inaugural.

Penny Pritzker
Penny Pritzker

Pritzker later took herself out of the running for Commerce secretary (a job that opened up again recently, without her name being submitted.)

She is expected to play a big role in Obama’s re-election bid. On Tuesday, she hosted a dinner in Chicago for members of the 2012 campaign finance committee.

The Pritzkers are one of the wealthiest, best known families in the president’s hometown. Yet they’re not all Democrats.

Anthony Pritzker, Penny’s brother, contributed generously to the McCain campaign in 2008, as did James Pritzker, her cousin.

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  • #1.   William 06.03.2011

    James Pritzker is Penny’s cousin, not nephew.

  • #2.   Laurie Bennett 06.04.2011

    You’re correct. (Our database and map were right, but the story was wrong.) We’ve made the correction. Thanks for pointing out the error.

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