Evanston Billionaire James Pritzker Changes Name to Jennifer Pritzker

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    The Evanston billionaire and heir to Hyatt Hotel fortune formerly known as James Pritzker is reportedly beginning a gender transition to live as a woman.

    According to Crain’s Chicago Business, a statement released to employees at Tawani Enterprises and the Pritzker Military Library read:

    "As of Aug. 16, 2013, J.N. Pritzker will undergo an official legal name change, will now 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."

    Pritzker recently made headlines as a subject of concern for Evanston residents after her firm, Tawani Enterprises, sought to purchase the Harley Clarke mansion in Evanston to build a boutique hotel.

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    Aldermen voted 6-3 to reject a $1.2 million offer to buy the city-owned lakefront building.

    The city was initially seeking to only sell or lease the buildings, but Tawani's proposal also included a purchase of the surrounding land.

    Residents posted yard signs in homes near the proposed project and lobbied the city council at the planned meeting.

    In July, Pritzker's Tawani Foundation awarded a grant to the University of California’s Palm Center to study the feasibility of service by transgender people in the military, according to a release from the center.

    The donation, reportedly $1.35 million, will also fund research into transgenders in police and fire departments.