Who Is JB Pritzker Wife, Mary Kathryn Muenster?

Mary Kathryn Muenster with JB Pritzker
Judge Carole Bellows of Wilmette (from left), J.B. Pritzker, dinner chairman and M.K. Pritzker, formerly of Evanston. | Lee A. Litas/for Sun-Times Media

Mary Kathryn Muenster is well known as the wife of Jay Robert JB Pritzker. She is the current first lady of Illinois as such her husband is a businessman, philanthropist, and politician who is currently the 43rd governor of the Prairie State.

Her husband has significantly improved the state’s living conditions as the Governor of Illinois. His main objective is to grow the economy and create jobs. He is also an investor through several of his companies that focuses on projects equities and venture capital firms.

Jay Robert also co-wons the Pritzker Group and is always busy and rational at work. Muenster also goes by her initials MK and her husband transforms into a loving husband and father when he gets home after work. The two have been together since the early 90s and the two are also parents to two children. Do you want to learn about the life of Muenster? Well, here’s everything you need to know about her life including her onset in the media, relationship status, whereabouts, and more.

Mary Kathryn Muenster spent a lot of time with her “Grandma Marce”

Mary Kathryn Muenster was born on 25th May 1967 in South Dakota, United States. She is a Midwestern Protestant who was born into a family that was comfortable but not wealthy, unlike her spouse who is a West Coast Jew from a super-rich clan.  She was born as the daughter of Theodore and Karen Muenster.

Kathryn was born in the 10,000-person town of Vermilion, South Dakota. Thus, she is a native of South Dakota. Both of her parents were into politics. Her father, Theodore, ran for the U.S. Senate in 1990 but lost to Larry Pressler. On the other hand, her mother was a South Dakota state senator from 1987 to 1993. Interestingly, some of Muenester’s family still live in South Dakota.

Mary Kathryn grew up in the Midwest and spent a lot of time with her “Grandma Marce” on her small farm in a tiny house in Nebraska. Marry also said that her grandmother was the most amazing person in the world who taught her how to knit and farm and the importance of giving.

The future first lady also revealed that she fed the pigs every morning and her grandparents weren’t well off but she says that it was the best time for her. Additionally, her grandmother was also the church secretary who used to collect donations at the First Christian Church in Beatrice, Nebraska.

Does Mary Kathryn have any siblings?

Mary‘s parents Theodore and Karen Muenster are blessed with three children altogether. She has two siblings; an older brother named Tom and a younger brother named Ted.

Her younger brother, Ted, got a job in the University of South Dakota’s political science of department so he relocated to Vermilion from Nebraska. He also became chief of staff to South Dakota Gov. Richard F. Kneip. Unfortunately, there’s not much information about her older brother.

What is Kathryn Muenster up to these days?

jb pritzker with mary

Mary Kathryn Muenster left her home state, South Dakota in order to study at the University of Nebraska. She even started working on Capitol Hill. Apparently, she had taken a school break from the University of Nebraska to work on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C for Senator Thomas Daschle.

Currently, she has become the director of the J.B. and M.K Pritzker Family Foundation. Her company focuses to foster effective solutions to early childhood, community, and women’s health issues. She is also a founder of the Evergreen Invitational which addresses women’s health issues. Furthermore, she is a trustee and director of the Northwestern Memorial Foundation. All of these jobs are charity work so, you can say that Mary is an avid Philanthropist.

For 12 to 15 years, she has been actively involved in women’s health and community health as she deeply cares about them. Additionally, she is also an investor in a company called Retrofit which uses mobile technology to help companies help their employees lose weight. The reason why she invested in the company might be due to her husband. Her husband allegedly stands at a height of 5’10” with a bit of excess weight loss some of his own.

When did Mary Kathryn Muenster get married to her husband J.B. Pritzker?

Marry Kathryn Muenster got married to J.B. Pritzker in 1993.  David Saperstein, the Washington D.C.-based president of the World Union for Progressive Judaism and the rabbi, performed Mary Muenster’s and Pritzker’s marriage. Marry and JB had met each other for the first time in 1988 when the latter used to work as a part-time legislative aide to California Democratic U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos, a Holocaust survivor.

Additionally, JB was also among the staff of Democratic Sen. Alan Dixon of Illinois while he was attending Georgetown University. The couple encountered each other in Washington, D.C. when Mary Kathryn was working as an aide to U.S. Senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota. To be precise, the two had met on a blind date set up by a mutual friend at “The America cafe”.

Unfortunate first meeting with her husband

JB had a very unfortunate incident during his and Mary’s first date. The billionaire had forgotten to bring money. In an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, he recalled their first meeting and said, “It was lunch and a blind date. I was bowled over. But while we were looking at the menu, I realized my wallet was in my car four blocks away!”

After realizing that his wallet was in his car four blocks away, he excused himself and “SPRINTED” four blocks wearing a blazer and tie. He thought that it was over as he returned 10 minutes later.

MK also remembers the incident. She remarked on the moment and said, “I was wondering what was up with this guy who came back sweating and breathing heavily?”

In April 2017, Pritzker also revealed that Mary was dating the center on the school’s basketball team at the time when the two had met. Furthermore, he admits to feeling like he had no shot. However, MK says that he had a great sense of humor that made a huge impression on her.

Additionally, she also found JB’s good mannerisms and kindness attractive. After dating for three and a half years, Pritzker took the initiative and proposed to Mary to marry him. In 1993, JB graduated from Northwestern University Law School, the two decided to get married in the same year. The couple have settled in Evanston after the marriage.

Why don’t Kathryn and her husband call each other by their names?

It is revealed that the couple does not call each other by their names but uses their initials, JB and MK instead. Their friends have joked that if they should call their kids ‘A.’ ‘B.’ and ‘C.’ Moreover, Pritzker has stated that the fact that he and his wife both went by their initials was a sign that their love was “written in the stars.”

He has also described Mary as “my partner is everything”. While talking about her husband, Mary said, “I’ve known him for 30 years, and not once has he let me down. He will not let the people of the state down. He truly cares. We’ve been married for 24 years and I’ve never seen him so excited; hoping to get people’s lives back on track; helping those who have little or no help.”

Additionally, she considers herself incredibly lucky and fortunate to get married to a California-born political leader. She said, “First of all, I am married to a man who supports me and everything that I do. And I know this is not the case everywhere.”

Does Kathryn have any children?

jp and mary with family

Mary Kathryn Muenster is blessed with two children with Pritzker. They have a daughter named Teddi [Theodora]. She is named after MK’s father. They also have a son named Donny who is named after Pritzeker’s late father, Donald. The family of four currently lives in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago.

Marry is strongly supportive of her husband’s campaign for Illinois Governor. She also said that nothing has ever made her husband more excited and her spouse is equally supportive of her and everything she does. Additionally, she also said that her husband also cares about women’s health, which is important to her.

Kathryn’s In-Laws are the 15th wealthiest family in the world

Talking about Kathryn’s in-laws, the Pritzkers have been consistently finishing near the top of the Forbes “America’s Richest Families” list since its 1982 inception. Her in-laws are a powerful Chicago family. By looking at the history, we know that their fortune mostly came from Hyatt and from the investments in industrial conglomerate Marmon Group which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway at the present. The Ukrainian-origin dynast had spent the 2000s feuding over trusts and eventually divided up a fortune that includes Hyatt hotels.

Furthermore, their family also gained large amounts of wealth from past holdings including Braniff airlines, McCall’s magazine, the Trans Union credit bureau, the Royal Caribbean cruise line, and superior Bank of Chicago (though it collapsed in 2001).

Currently, the Pritzker family is ranked the 15th wealthiest family in the world. The family is based in Chicago and has 11 billionaire members. Additionally, many members still have stakes in the publically traded Hyatt Hotel chain including Muenester’s husband.

Kathryn and her husband’s net worth

Muenster’s net worth is not really made public. We do know that her primary source of income is her career in philanthropy. She is also a president of a non-profit organization so, that might pay her a decent sum as well. Through her different posts, we can estimate that she makes more than a good living. But her actual net worth is private.

However, his longtime partner is one of the wealthiest politicians in the US with a net worth of over $3.6 billion. He mostly credits his income to his company Pritzker Group Capital which owns and operates middle-market companies. The organization entails a growing family of companies that includes pallet rental leader PECO Pallet and medical device maker Clinical Innovations.

He is one of 11 billionaires in the Pritzker family and benefits from his ties to the Pritzker family and their multi-billion dollar business Hyatt Hotel chain and the Marmon Group. Additionally, another of his successful venture capital firm, New World invests in IT and software companies and had provided funds to more than 50 companies thus far.

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