Karen Pritzker Net Worth & Biography
|Popular Name:||Karen Pritzker|
|Real Name:||Karen Pritzker|
|Birth Place:||Oberlin, Ohio, United States|
|Spouse(s):||Michael Vlock (died 2017)|
|Net Worth:||$4 Billion|
American businesswoman Karen Pritzker has amassed a decent fortune from her flourishing hotel businesses. Born in 1958, she studied at Northwestern University before getting married to American investor Michael Vlock with whom she has four children. The businesswoman, who currently lives in Branford, Connecticut, is the major shareholder in the venture fund LaunchCapital LLC. Likewise, she also holds stakes in battery-operated surfboard/paddleboard manufacturers and in a chain of grilled cheese restaurants. Karen is a member of the prominent Pritzker family who is known to own several significant businesses not just in America but also in other countries. She is the granddaughter of A.N. Pritzker, who alongside his sons, Robert, Donald, and Jay, founded the industrial conglomerate Marmon and the hotel chain Hyatt. More details follow below.
Early Life: Childhood, Education, Family
Best known for being a businesswoman, investor, documentary producer, and philanthropist, Karen L. Pritzker was born in 1958 in Oberlin, Ohio, US, as a member of the prominent Pritzker family. She is the daughter of Robert Pritzker and Audrey (née Gilbert), and the granddaughter of Abram Nicholas Pritzker. She has two siblings: Linda Pritzker an American lama, and Jennifer N. Pritzker, a retired Lt Colonel in the United States Army and the founder of the Pritzker Military Library.
Her parents divorced in 1979. In 1980, her father married Irene Dryburgh with whom he had two children, Liesel Pritzker and Simmons Matthew Pritzker. In 1981, her mother tied the knot with Albert B. Ratner, the co-chair of Cleveland-based real estate development firm Forest City Enterprises.
When she had graduated from high school, she enrolled in Northwestern University from which she graduated with a B.A.
Professional Life: Business Career, Investments
Karen’s father diversified the family business, the Marmon Group, based in Chicago, along with his brothers Donald and Jay Pritzker, and built it into a portfolio of more than 60 diversified industrial corporations. The three brothers also created the Hyatt Hotel chain in 1957 and controlled Braniff Airlines from 1983 to 1988.
The Pritzker brothers were always divesting their family’s assets. They sold Conwood, a smokeless tobacco company, in 2006, for $3.5 billion to cigar company Reynolds American Inc. In 2007, they sold control of the Marmon Group to Berkshire Hathaway headed by Warren Buffett for $4.5 billion. They also sold their majority stake in the Chicago-based credit reporting company Transunion in 2010 for an undisclosed sum to Madison Dearborn Partners, a Chicago-based private-equity firm.
Karen worked as an editor at the publisher Working Mother before her father and his siblings sold it in 1986. She has written for various journals and magazines, including Success, Newsday, Seventeen, and Kirkus Reviews. Most of her wealth is being reinvested in profitable ventures through an investment portfolio, the Pritzker family office which holds a diverse asset base of real estate, medical device companies, emerging biotechnology, and consumer technology products. She also operates a venture fund, LaunchCapital LLC, which mainly specializes in the tech, consumer, and medical businesses. Since 2008, LaunchCapital’s seed investments combined with the Pritzker/Vlock Family Office’s growth investments have allowed great people to build innovative business establishments across nearly every industry.
Together with James Redford In 2012, Karen Pritzker co-founded KPJR Films through which she has since executive-produced three documentary films.
Personal Life: Husband, Children, Philanthropy
Karen was married to Michael Vlock until his death in September 2017. They shared four children from their union.
A well-known and respected philanthropist, Karen serves as director and president of The Seedlings Foundation, a non-profit that was founded in 2002, and has to date, awarded millions of dollars in grants, promoting advancements in medical research, communal services, job retraining for eligible citizens, affordable housing, and other causes. Pritzker and her husband before his demise donated $20 million to the Yale University School of Medicine, $1.5 million to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, and $5 million to Teach for America. In 2007, she donated $1 million for the construction of a visitor center at the Treblinka concentration camp.
Karen Pritzker Net Worth
Karen Pritzker, a businesswoman and philanthropist is reported to have a net worth of over $4 billion dollars. Currently based in Branford, Connecticut, she is one of the richest people in the state. Most of her wealth has been made from the numerous businesses her family established and led to success before passing a portion of it all down to her. Unlike other members of the famous Pritzker family, Karen chose to hold on to her stakes in the family business. Today, she maintains large holdings in Hyatt, LaunchCapital, and the Marmon Group. She has also purchased shares in Apple Inc., among other reputed businesses, all of which continually contribute to her fortune.