announcement via her companylast week, the normally private billionaire and retired lieutenant colonel formerly known as James
Pritzker announced she is transgender and would henceforth like to be known as Jennifer Natalya Pritzker.
“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,” the statement said.
According to Raw Story, Pritzker, 62, enlisted in the Army in 1974 and earned her commission as an infantry officer in ’79. After stints with the 82nd and 101st Airborne, she transitioned to the Illinois National Guard. She retired from the military in 2001.
But Pritzker was obviously better known for her wealth than her military ties. Her family owns the Hyatt Hotel branch, the Marmon group, and a large stake of the Carnival Cruise Line, among others. Her cousin is current U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.
Pritzker has a reported net worth of $US1.5 billion. She is the founder and chairman of the Pritzker Military Library. Last month, she funded a multi-year grant through the UCLA’s Palm Center to study the possibility of transgender people serving openly in the military.
So while Beck’s announcement may have caused people to rethink gender norms as they apply to special forces, and Manning’s came amid news of a 35-year prison sentence for the largest leak of classified information in American history, Pritzker has the profile to command the same amount of media attention, and the power to directly impact the fate of transgender service members.
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