The Pritzker family has made headlines in recent years for their political and philanthropic activity, as they leverage the billions of dollars inherited from the Hyatt Hotel fortune to advance progressive causes. One cause that seems to be especially important to the Pritzkers is influencing the rapid transition of society away from a binary understanding of human reproductive sex to an understanding based on self-perception of one’s place along a spectrum, or perhaps not on that spectrum at all.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, has been serving on the Duke University Board of Trustees since 2017, a time period during which the campus and the health system have taken strides in this direction. Duke officials deny that Pritzker’s place on the board has influenced the expansion of surgical and hormonal gender transitions at Duke Health.
“There is absolutely no connection between J.B. Pritzker’s appointment to the Board of Trustees at Duke University and the gender care services provided at Duke Health,” Duke University officials told Carolina Journal. “The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees exercises oversight of the Duke University Health System. Trustee Pritzker is not a member of the Executive Committee.”
J.B. Pritzker is an alumnus of Duke University and has been generous and involved with the school since his graduation in 1987. He even named one of his charitable trusts Durham in honor of his time at the school, according to watchdog group the Better Government Association.
Better Government also says J.B. Pritzker gave $2.5 million to Duke University from one of his trust funds, but the true amount of his giving to Duke is unknown because there are many funds that the family has chosen not to make public. Some that were identified are named after periodic elements, like “Gallium, DGC Germanium, LGC Tin and R.A.G.C. Iridium,” and many of them are based in overseas tax havens, according to Crain’s Chicago Business Magazine.
In January of 2018, soon after J.B. Pritzker was named a trustee member in 2017, Duke announced they were creating the Adult Gender Medicine Clinic. They also rapidly expanded their Child and Adolescent Gender Care Clinic. Both of these facts can be heard in the presentation below by Dr. Carly Kelley, co-director of the clinic.
In 2020, Duke then continued its expansion in this area as it created a much more ambitious project called the Duke Sexual and Gender Minority Health Program. In their press statement announcing the effort, Duke said they wanted to become the regional leader in gender care in the South. And as Carolina Journal recently outlined, Duke Health is well on the way to achieving this goal.
In comment to Carolina Journal, Duke denied that Pritzker had any influence over this decision on the board but did not answer a question about whether any donations from the family were involved in the funding of the clinics.
J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, is currently the 43rd governor of Illinois, and his family has been very active in Democrat politics. His sister, Penny, was co-chair of former President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and later become his secretary for the Department of Commerce.
J.B.’s cousin Jennifer Pritzker, a twice-married father of three born James Pritzker, is the only openly transgender billionaire, after announcing a transition in 2013. Jennifer had been a lifelong Republican and was a veteran once based out of Fort Bragg in North Carolina, but in 2020 backed away from that support, donating to Joe Biden as well as the Libertarian Party because of Republican positions on LGBTQ issues.
Tablet Magazine in June of 2022 published a detailed breakdown by Jennifer Bilek of how J.B., Jennifer, and many other billionaire members of the Pritzker family are influencing the rapid transition of society away from a binary understanding of gender towards a spectrum of synthetic sex identities.
Bilek lists the major hospitals and gender clinics across the nation leading the charge in this new area of medicine — Lurie Children’s Hospital, University of Minnesota Health, University of Arkansas Health, Boston Children’s Hospital, Ronald Reagan Medical Center, and many others — and how the Pritzkers are major donors at nearly every one. Very often, like with Duke University, a Pritzker also sits on the board.
After Bilek’s report, National Review, the Federalist, and other conservative outlets followed with articles on the Pritzker’s wide influence and unprecedented spending in the “gender-affirming” care movement.
One National Review story cited the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine’s new course on correcting “misinformation.” The class is specifically designed to counter arguments against “gender-affirming care,” even though European countries like Sweden and Finland, as well as Britain’s only youth gender clinic, have all moved away from these kinds of treatments.
The article said, “Illinois governor J. B. Pritzker’s devotion to the cause is so complete that he has signed into law a bill setting the standard that “’by the end of the second grade, students should be able to . . . discuss the range of ways people express their gender.’”
In addition to building up the infrastructure of gender clinics and approving medical schools across the country, the Pritzkers are also involved in backing the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), the body which these clinics look to for their standards of care. Jennifer Pritzker is one of the main funders of WPATH, winning the “WPATH Philanthropy Award” in 2018 for “longstanding support.”
At Duke’s 2022 Sexual and Gender Minority Health Symposium, Dr. Marci Bowers, the president of WPATH, expressed concern about “red flags” in the current standards of care they’ve created. Bowers’ concerns (which can be seen in the video below) included a rise in “detransitioners” who regret the treatments, a lack of genital development after the blocking of puberty, the permanent inability to orgasm after blocking puberty, and issues with informed consent for the pre-pubescent children who may not fully understand what these irreversible changes could entail for their future.