Evanston billionaire and Hyatt Hotel heir James Pritzker is changing his name to Jennifer Natalya Pritzker and now identifies as a woman, according to a statement released to Patch.
"As of August 16, 2013, J.N. Pritzker will undergo an official legal name change, will now be known as Jennifer Natalya Pritzker," the statement said. "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."
She made the announcement in a memo to employees at the Pritzker Military Library and Tawani Enterprises, as originally reported by Crain's.
Pritzker is a member of a prominent, wealthy Chicago-based family which has investments in real estate and a variety of businesses, according to the Chicago Tribune. Her cousin Penny Pritzker was recently confirmed as U.S. Commerce Secretary, the paper said.
Pritzker recently offered $1.2 million for the lakefront Harley Clarke Mansion at 2603 Sheridan Rd. in Evanston, after the city put out a request for proposals on the property. But city council members voted 6-3 in July to reject the bid, in the face of widespread opposition to the prospect of selling public property.
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Under her proposal for the Harley-Clarke Mansion, Pritzker’s company, Tawani Enterprises, planned to spend $22 million to restore and renovate the lakefront mansion and transform it into a boutique hotel.
Pritzker did win council approval for two bed and breakfasts further south on the lakefront, at 1622 Forest Place and 300 Church Street, Evanston.