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American family business icon dies

Robert Pritzker, the businessman who co-founded the Marmon Group and the patriarch of one of the richest families in the world, died on 27 October at the age of 85.

Robert Pritzker, the businessman who co-founded the Marmon Group and the patriarch of one of the richest families in the world, died on 27 October at the age of 85.

Pritzker died of Parkinson’s disease in a nursing facility in Chicago, his assistant Becky Spooner said in a statement.

Today, the Pritzkers are one of the world’s wealthiest families, with 11 members on the 2011 Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans.

Most of the family’s fortune comes from the Marmon Group, an international conglomerate of industrial and manufacturing service companies that Robert and his brother Jay co-founded in 1953.

Robert served as president of the group until 2002, when he became president of Colson Associates, a holding of caster, medical device and hardware companies.

In 2008, the family sold a 60% stake in the Marmon Group to Berkshire Hathaway.

The Pritzkers also control the Hyatt Hotels chain, which was founded by Jay in 1957, while they previously owned tobacco company Conwood and the Superior Bank of Chicago.

Robert Pritzker is survived by his wife Mayari and five children, James, Linda, Karen, Matthew and Liesel. 

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