THE PRITZKERS UNVEILING A PRIVATE FAMILY Can you believe it? These billionaires actually like each other. But as Pritzkers proliferate, a worry arises: Can they maintain their striking success -- and keep everyone happy?
By Ford S. Worthy REPORTER ASSOCIATE Cynthia Hutton

(FORTUNE Magazine) – THOMAS J. PRITZKER, of the quietly wealthy Chicago clan that owns Hyatt Corp., Braniff, and a score of other important businesses, stood at a pay phone in the lobby of a Chinese restaurant in New York City. On the line, Moscow was calling. Or rather, it was Tom's father, Jay, in Moscow on business, who had tracked down Tom to learn how the family's negotiations to gain control of Pan Am Corp. were going. For months Jay had been laying the groundwork for a merger between Braniff and Pan Am that would have effectively put the Pritzkers in charge of the combined company and thrust the family into the spotlight as no deal had before. Then, just as the negotiations turned critical, Jay left for the Soviet Union, keeping his date to travel with a fellow billionaire, Albert Reichmann of Olympia & York, and leaving it to his oldest son to make or break the deal. Although the Pritzkers' bid fell through in late December, when Pan Am's five unions refused to accept proposed wage concessions, it represented an unmistakable sign of the transition taking place within one of the nation's richest and most private families. Several years ago Jay Pritzker, 65, could not have so confidently handed off a high-profile deal to someone else. But today he rarely makes an important decision without consulting Tom, 37, the uncrowned leader of a new generation of Pritzkers. ''The more people see of Tommy,'' says William McDonough, vice chairman of First National Bank of Chicago, ''the more they think the family greatness will continue.'' First Chicago has played a bigger role than any other lender in backing the Pritzkers. In four decades Jay Pritzker and his brother Robert, 61, have built a fortune that is worth a minimum of $3.5 billion and almost certainly much more. The Pritzkers' wealth is strikingly different from that of the few American families who can claim a greater net worth. It derives not from holdings in a single industry as, say, the Newhouse family's $7.5 billion comes from the publishing and broadcasting business or Sam Walton's $6.5 billion depends on retailing. Instead it comes mostly from running companies that make goods and provide services in a dizzying variety of industries (see table, page 170). The family built Hyatt's worldwide chain of 135 hotels from scratch. They put together Marmon Group, a vast collection of industrial companies, over years of bargain hunting. Marmon consists of some 60 different outfits, including Union Tank Car, one of the nation's largest manufacturers of railroad tank cars; Getz Corp., a 128-year-old trading firm that last year distributed over $330 million of merchandise throughout Asia; and companies that make gloves, refine copper, lease cranes, reconfigure heavy-duty trucks, and help lenders run credit checks on their customers. Other Pritzker enterprises sell tickets to rock concerts, manage sports arenas, and make chewing tobacco. The family also holds minority stakes in such public companies as Elsinore, a casino operator; S&W Berisford, a British sugar producer; and Tie Communications, a telecommunications equipment manufacturer. How does a large family manage such diversity while retaining the . cohesiveness that helped make its success possible? That is a towering question confronting the Pritzkers as the next generation takes over. In the past their style has emphasized clearly defined (though sometimes intuitively understood) roles for each family member and great autonomy for the professional managers who run the family businesses. They have generally shunned reporters' questions about who rules the clan, feeling that the potential for disrupting family unity far outweighs other considerations. As Tom, speaking to a FORTUNE reporter, put it: ''When a journalist goes into a family and tries to open up an issue like this -- and it's clearly an issue, and we've discussed it -- he creates the opportunity to generate friction that wasn't there.'' DESPITE their misgivings, Tom, Jay, Bob, and three other Pritzkers active in the business agreed to interviews with FORTUNE. ''I can live without it,'' said Bob. ''But if I don't cooperate I can't squawk if you get it all wrong.'' Jay was more edgy, saying he felt like a ''trapped animal.'' Ultimately, however, the Pritzkers talked candidly about themselves, their management styles, the tensions of being both a family and a business -- indeed, about almost every topic but one: their money. In Jay's view all estimates of his family's wealth are ''tawdry'' and ''gauche.'' Figuring out what the Pritzkers are worth with exactitude is impossible. With few exceptions, their assets reside in a complex maze of privately held companies, joint ventures, and partnerships that do not release financial information of any kind. Yet it is possible to make a reasonable appraisal of the two holdings that appear to account for the preponderance of their wealth: Hyatt Hotels and Marmon Group. HYATT HOTELS, a group of 80 hotels and 11 resorts in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean, acknowledges that sales last year totaled $1.8 billion. These revenues essentially belong to investors who own the hotel properties -- including, in a notable minority of cases, other Pritzker entities. Though Hyatt is increasingly putting its own equity into hotels, it primarily operates them in return for a management fee tied to total revenues and an incentive fee linked to profits. Industry experts familiar with Hyatt say the value of the management contracts alone is at least $1.5 billion. ''For an emotional buyer,'' says an executive of a chain that competes against Hyatt, ''the domestic operations might bring $2 billion.'' That doesn't count Hyatt International, which manages 44 hotels and resorts with annual sales of $530 million; it would almost certainly be sold to the same buyer. Nor do these estimates of the Pritzkers' wealth include the value of the hotel properties they own as well as manage. For instance, along with Donald Trump, they have a large equity interest in the Grand Hyatt in New York. Marmon Group's value is a little easier to gauge. Each year it discloses a few summary statistics on how its companies performed during the preceding 12 months. Its 1987 earnings ($145 million) and book value ($676 million) suggest that if it were sold for what other diversified industrial companies have recently gone for, it would net the Pritzkers around $2 billion. The outside world generally perceives Jay as the absolute ruler of the family. ''Nothing is further from the truth,'' says Laurence Geller, a Hyatt executive. Although, as cousin Nicholas puts it, ''Jay is the chairman of everything,'' the family actually operates by consensus. Each sponsors his own projects, but always with the tacit consent of the others. Jay is the financial wizard, the conceptualizer who handles acquisitions (and the occasional divestiture). Bob, an engineer, runs Marmon Group. Tom and Nick, 42, the family's real estate specialist, are the key Pritzkers at Hyatt. But their activities often overlap, and they tend to use ''we'' and ''our'' when describing their roles. Nick recalls that his mother once complained that his father, Jack, the real estate expert in his generation, never got enough credit in newspaper articles detailing Pritzker deals: ''It's not fair,'' she said. Jack's response: ''At the office nobody looks for credit.'' That view of the world traces back to another Nicholas Pritzker, the one who left Kiev for Chicago in 1881. He became a pharmacist and then a lawyer. Toward the end of his life, he wrote a small book that has been passed down from Pritzker to Pritzker. Its theme: Your only immortality is the impact you have on your successors. Nicholas's three sons, Harry, Abram, and Jack, all joined him at Pritzker & Pritzker, the law firm that continues today as the hub of the family's business activities. Abram -- who was called Abe or A.N. -- launched the family onto its present course when he quit practicing corporate law in the mid-1930s and began doing deals for his own account. He was a compulsive negotiator who always had an envelope ready on which to scribble the terms he was offering. He invested in small companies in the Chicago area and hotels in cities as far afield as Havana. His big winner was Cory Corp., an appliance maker he bought with a friend for $25,000 in 1942. In 1967 they sold it to Hershey Foods for $23 million. A.N. and his wife, Fanny, raised their three sons, Jay, Robert, and Donald, in relative affluence. The boys went to the Francis W. Parker School, a small private day school in Chicago. But the greater part of their education took place around the dinner table, where A.N. would discuss his business deals and pose mathematical problems. Grandfather Nicholas was also an important intellectual presence. Bob recalls conversations where his grandfather, an agnostic, would challenge 11-year-old Bob to debate biblical precepts. In 1934, when Jay was 11, Nicholas took him out of school for a tour of the Middle East, Europe, and the Soviet Union. He vividly remembers being in Berlin on June 30, the day Hitler slaughtered many of his political rivals. JAY FINISHED high school at 14 and enrolled at Northwestern University. Stanley Frankel, a fraternity brother, remembers helping ''cherubic'' Jay scour local high schools to find dates for parties. During World War II, Jay was a Navy flight instructor, first in Pensacola, Florida, then at Glenview Naval Air Station near Northwestern, where he was able to finish law school at the same time. Shortly after getting his degree he married Marian ''Cindy'' Friend, the daughter of a prominent Illinois appellate judge. Jay's brilliant record at Northwestern won him a job in Washington with the federal agency that ran foreign-owned companies whose assets had been seized during the war. As the government's representative, Jay served on the boards of such huge German companies as American Bosch and GAF. He tried to be an unobtrusive 25- year-old in the midst of 60-year-old CEOs. But he felt strongly that the government ought to divest, rather than operate, the companies. His superiors thought otherwise. So one year after launching his career as a bureaucrat, Jay returned home to Chicago to become a capitalist (and the government eventually divested the companies). He bought a lumber and plywood operation in Eugene, Oregon, where he and Cindy lived for a year, and a tiny company that made paint rollers. He and his father rarely did a deal together, but A.N. helped Jay in other ways. In particular, Jay benefited from A.N.'s special relationship with the First ( National Bank of Chicago, which was eager to lend money to the son of a favored customer. Says Jay: ''Because of Dad I could get anything from the bank, even if the request was unreasonable.'' In 1953 the bank loaned Jay around 95% of the several million dollars he required to buy Colson Co., a small manufacturer in Elyria, Ohio, that badly needed help. Jay's brother Bob, then 26, moved immediately to Elyria. He had an industrial engineering degree from Illinois Institute of Technology and six years' experience at production jobs in factories owned by others. He began restructuring Colson, which had annual sales of $5 million in tricycles, missile subassemblies, and casters for carts and dollies. He jettisoned the tricycles and rocket parts and moved the growing caster business out of antiquated facilities in Elyria to a new plant in Arkansas. By the time Colson was back on track, Jay had bought another small, badly run company in another small town. Over and over the pattern repeated itself: Jay bought companies, Bob made them worth owning. A.N.'s third son, Donald, joined Pritzker & Pritzker after graduating from the University of Chicago law school in 1959. Several years earlier Jay had bought a small airport motel in Los Angeles named after its owner, Hyatt von Dehn. By 1961 Jay had expanded the original Hyatt House into a fledgling chain of six hotels, and Don went west to manage it. He gave the little organization flair and momentum. He was short, like most of the Pritzker men, and fat, unlike them. He had a captivating smile, an uproarious laugh, and a wit that would show up a stand-up comedian. With Don in charge (but always clearing big decisions with Jay), Hyatt grew rapidly. In 1967 it went public. Even more important that year, it bought a large, unfinished hotel in Atlanta whose developers were in trouble. Designed by architect John Portman, it was a dramatic departure in hotel design, with a showy atrium that Hyatt adopted as its signature for most new hotels. In 1972, when he was 39, Donald died of a heart attack while playing tennis, leaving a wife and three children. Hyatt's hotels, with their exuberant styling and young, innovative staffs, went on to stir up the industry. But in 1977 the go-go company attracted attention of the wrong sort: Its president, Hugo M. ''Skip'' Friend Jr., was found to have used over $300,000 of company money for personal expenses. This was more than a case of an officer's bad judgment; Skip was also Jay's brother-in-law. Jay chose to demote Skip rather than fire him, but he soon left the company. A.N. was so upset that the family's integrity had been called into question that he reportedly never spoke to Skip again. Today Skip is a real estate broker in California (and occasionally does business with Hyatt). Embarrassed and bitter over the episode, Jay moved Hyatt's headquarters to Chicago, where the company could be watched more closely. A little later he began a long process of buying out the public shareholders, taking Hyatt private in 1979. Today Braniff is the only public company in which the Pritzkers own a majority share. In their personal lives, too, the Pritzkers prefer privacy. Rarely does a family member display the trappings or eccentricities that frequently accompany great wealth. They live well but unostentatiously. Jay and Cindy occupy an art-filled apartment overlooking Lake Michigan in an affluent enclave known as the Gold Coast. A.N.'s widow, Lorraine, whom he married in 1972 after Fanny died in 1970, is on the same street. Bob lives a few blocks away with his second wife, Irene Dryburgh, whom he married in 1980 after his divorce in 1979, and their two small children. Nick, his wife, and four children are neighbors. Tom, his wife, and three sons live a couple of miles away. While the family goes out of its way to avoid attention, a strain of flamboyance occasionally surfaces. At Cindy's 60th birthday, held at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, guests did double takes at the centerpieces decorating each table. Every now and then, Coneheads -- based on the Saturday Night Live characters -- winked or stuck out their tongues. Once everyone caught on, the Coneheads (actors hired for the occasion) slipped out from beneath the tables and made their exits. The Pritzkers contribute generously to Jewish organizations and Chicago charities, and they gave the University of Chicago school of medicine a gift of $12 million in 1968. But what is most notable about their philanthropy is not how much they give, but how they give it. In 1976, Jay and Cindy endowed a Stanford laboratory dedicated to research in neurochemistry. Before making their gift, they toured the lab, quizzing everyone from scientists to dishwashers. Afterward, Jack Barchas, the director of the lab, asked about the questions. Jay's answer: ''Our philosophy is that we don't buy companies to strip them of their assets. The key to us is the people who run them. It's the same thing with the institutions to which we give money.''

THE FAMILY nerve center -- where takeovers are orchestrated and philanthropies coordinated -- is Pritzker & Pritzker. Since the death of A.N. at 90 two years ago, the sole partners are the four Pritzkers who are lawyers: Jay, Tom, Nick, and Penny, Donald's only daughter. P&P, as the family calls it, is actually a small investment bank whose 17 professionals serve one client. It is here, a few floors above Hyatt's headquarters, that records documenting the family's elaborate trusts are kept. Most, though not all, of the family's wealth resides in these trusts. The trusts -- ''There are more than 1,000 of them,'' says a Pritzker confidant -- collectively own all the stock of the holding companies, which in turn own the various Marmon Group enterprises and the family's other key assets. How much of the Pritzker empire is owned by trusts that benefit one family member as opposed to others? ''If you ask me what I personally own,'' says Tom, ''I have no idea. I make the general assumption that I'm getting a fair shake.'' A.N. transferred most of his assets to the first trusts in the 1930s and later boasted that ''between me and my friends we saved between $100 million and $200 million in taxes.'' Today trusts can no longer be used to shelter income. But they can help minimize estate taxes. Assets held in certain trusts established prior to 1985 (as virtually all the Pritzkers' were) may be passed to the next generation free of estate taxes. A.N.'s will suggests that he saved millions for the family because of that pass-through provision. According to court records, the Pritzker patriarch left personal assets valued at a mere $25,000. Though the Pritzkers essentially own everything collectively, they treat their operating companies as distinctly separate entities. ''For years Bob wouldn't give us any of Marmon's business because he thought we charged too much,'' says Hyatt's president, Darryl Hartley-Leonard, who has spent his 24- year career at the hotel chain. Edward Gill Jr., general manager of Colson Caster Corp., shares the same frustration. ''It infuriates me to see somebody else's casters on the bellman's cart at a Hyatt,'' he says. ''But we just have to grin and bear it.'' The every-business-for-itself philosophy also applies to the earnings of Pritzker-owned companies. Robert Gluth, Marmon's executive vice president, says he has never seen any of the cash produced by Marmon go to support other family businesses. Individually the Pritzkers seem not only to accept but also to embrace the way their wealth is managed. There have been no ugly court fights or other family feuds over money. What happens if someone steps out of line? ''If we are going to have a problem,'' says Jay, ''it's probably going to be a ne'er-do-well'' -- someone who thinks he has a right to something just because his name is Pritzker. Adds Jay: ''No one in the family has a right to anything until he has made a contribution doing something and doing it well. He doesn't have to be in the family business. He can be a Yugoslavian poetry professor. But he had better be a good one.'' JAY PHILOSOPHIZED about these matters and many others recently in a conversation that began promptly at 6 A.M. Compact and vigorous, he often plays tennis early in the morning with Steve Erenburg, a local car dealer and his regular partner for 20 years. Heart trouble -- he had quadruple-bypass surgery -- has forced Jay to slow down a bit. Occasionally he'll stop for a short nap during the day. He has also had to give up the esoteric sport of helicopter skiing, in which skiers are dropped off high in the mountains to race down untracked slopes. Little else suggests that Jay is throttling back. He considers scores of deals a year. When he sees one he likes, he moves quickly, without teams of lawyers advising him at every step. In 1980 he made a $690 million offer to buy Trans Union, a large tank-car-leasing company now part of Marmon Group, less than a week after Trans Union's chairman approached him. A Pan Am union member who negotiated with the Pritzkers last year says Jay grew ''antsy'' in dealing with unions accustomed to proceeding at a committee-like pace. Jay concedes he has ''an overdeveloped sense of urgency.'' If a person on the other side of the negotiating table can't accommodate that urgency -- or wants to haggle -- he will simply walk away. ''If a deal doesn't satisfy the financial and other parameters he's laid out, he won't generally go back and say, 'Maybe we should redo the estimates,' '' says Dan Lufkin, a co-founder of Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette and a partner with the Pritzkers in an investment fund. Compared with other big dealmakers, Jay seems to have a slightly lower tolerance for risk. ''There are many deals Jay probably should have done, but didn't,'' says Jerry Seslowe, managing director of a New York merchant bank partially owned by the Pritzkers. ''There are no deals he shouldn't have done but did.'' Unlike some takeover entrepreneurs, who marshal all their equity and borrowing power to pursue a single acquisition, Jay prefers to spread money among many medium-size deals or to take on partners in large ones. This has helped diversify the Pritzkers' portfolio and further reduce their risk. Paradoxically, Jay is drawn not to solid, healthy companies but to the most troubled and complex ones around. In recent years he has expressed interest in acquiring Seatrain Lines, a shipping company operating under Chapter 11 at the time (1986); Western Union, which has long been a troubled company; and Pan Am, whose losses over the past two years totaled $727 million. Braniff and Ticketmaster, a computerized ticketing service, were in bad straits when Jay bought them. Seslowe says Jay pursues these deals knowing they are unlikely to attract many bidders. And the fewer the bidders, the better the price. Because the Pritzkers' portfolio is so diverse, they can often create synergies by combining acquired companies with similar operations they already own. Moreover, the way they own their companies is equally diverse, giving them unusual flexibility to take advantage of tax laws. To get maximum economic mileage from tax losses that have accumulated at an acquired company, for example, a buyer must return the company to profitability, either by improving operations or by combining it with other profitable entities. As Tom acknowledges with a laugh, ''You got something that needs a tax loss, I got one of those. You got something that needs a partnership with profits, I got one of those. You need a corporation with losses, yeah, I got one of those too. You name it, we got it!'' Jay's gamble on Braniff in 1983 seemed to depend heavily on $325 million of tax benefits that belonged to the airline's bankrupt shell. To revive Braniff, one of the early casualties of deregulation, Jay devised a scheme that left the old Braniff company with only its profitable airline maintenance division, all those tax benefits, and a new name, Dalfort. To help soak up the benefits, Dalfort has since acquired Conwood Co., a producer of snuff and chewing tobacco (Levi Garrett, Kodiak). Meanwhile, Jay created a new Braniff by leasing 30 planes and rehiring a small portion of the work force. Economically speaking, the deal might have made sense even had the airline crash-landed again. That almost happened. Six months after it resumed operations, with monthly losses averaging $8 million, Jay came close to grounding it. But by then he clearly had more at stake in the company than money. Bruce Leadbetter, a close business associate who encouraged Jay to take on Braniff, says Jay has become emotionally committed to making the airline succeed, partly out of concern for employees who agreed to large pay cuts and partly out of pride. ''Jay has always said, 'Show me a businessman who becomes emotionally involved in a deal and I'll show you an unsuccessful deal,' '' says Patrick Foley, Braniff's chief executive officer and formerly the top operating executive at Hyatt. But Foley believes that with Braniff, Jay will become the exception to his own rule. Foley expects the airline to make a small profit this year. ONCE JAY brings a new company into the fold, he rarely gets involved in operating it. If the business becomes part of Marmon Group, Bob will inherit it. People who know Bob well inevitably say that he is an engineer in a family of lawyers. An engineer, as if it were possible to encapsulate him in that one word. Hal Bruno, who directs the ABC television network's political coverage and has known Bob for 28 years, recalls being with him at a National Governors' Conference held at the Hyatt Regency in Hilton Head, South Carolina. A governor, making small talk, asked Bob what he did. ''I'm an engineer,'' came the response. Says Bruno: ''He wasn't being a smart ass, or putting the guy on. That's just how he thinks of himself.'' Ask Bob how something works -- a device that demineralizes water, say -- and he becomes genuinely animated. If you have the time, he will sketch out each component of the machine in fine detail. He revels in debates over how to allocate a factory's costs. He used to write articles on production control for trade journals. ''Staggering'' is the word Jay uses to describe Bob's knowledge of the plants that Marmon companies operate. ''But if I ask Bob to come to a session on financing a deal, he'll do like this after about five minutes,'' says Jay, rolling his eyes and beginning to fidget. ''And after about ten minutes, he'll say he really has to run.'' But Bob is anything but a one-dimensional gear head. He is the chairman of Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History. He has spoken passionately about the need for companies, including his own, to protect the environment, and he has funded a department of environmental engineering at his alma mater, Illinois Institute of Technology. His course on management at the University of Chicago's evening MBA program is among the school's most popular. The lobby that welcomes visitors to Marmon's corporate offices (a few blocks from where the rest of the Pritzkers work) perfectly reflects Bob's theory of management. The room is spare and unobtrusive, adorned with a backlit diagram illustrating how the chemical makeup of water changes as it passes through the earth. Bob manages Marmon's 60-odd companies in a highly decentralized fashion, letting his general managers operate with virtully no interference. Marmon managers regard their independence as a source of both motivation and reward. ''It's like owning my own company but having the Pritzkers' bankroll a phone call away,'' says Merlin Wille, general manager of a company that produces ready-mix concrete. Bob's main contact with his operating people comes during an annual budget session, when he visits each company and quizzes the managers who run it. He also keeps tabs by personally approving any expenditure over $15,000. In its brochure for customers and employees, Marmon says its return on equity has averaged 20.2% since 1978. That compares with an average of about 13% for the FORTUNE 500 over the same period. Its profits of $145 million last year were about what Hershey Foods and Cray Research earned. TOM IS THE PRITZKER who most closely tends the family's other core holding, the Hyatt hotels. He joined Hyatt in 1977, a year after getting his MBA and law degrees from the University of Chicago. He spends about half his time in his role as president of Hyatt Corp., which directly owns the company that manages the 91 Hyatt hotels in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean, and indirectly controls Dalfort, Conwood, Braniff, Ticketmaster, and several other Pritzker-affiliated companies. Though Hyatt's international operations are part of a separate company, Tom watches over them too. He devotes the rest of his time to business at Pritzker & Pritzker. More contemplative and reserved than his father, Jay, Tom has an almost scholarly interest in the culture of India and Nepal. He first visited India in 1971 as a 21-year-old, then returned five years later with his wife, Margot Lyn Barrow-Sicree, for a 400-mile trek through the Himalayas. They rent an apartment in Katmandu, where they spend much of their vacation time. Mel Klein, a partner in many Pritzker ventures, says Tom could easily have become a professor of Indian art and culture had he not wished to follow his father's example. But Tom, who began sitting in on his father's meetings as a 7-year- old, says, ''I've known where I was going for as long as I can remember.'' In the dealmaking arena Tom is increasingly acting as his father's alter ego. But he also has his own ideas. ''Jay has become increasingly interested in larger, sexier acquisitions, like Pan Am, while Tom looks for almost any deal that makes sense,'' says Jerry Seslowe. Tom recognized a possible company in an idea brought to him in 1982 by a Chicago doctor, who believed there was money to be made helping corporations monitor health care costs. With Tom's guidance and financial backing, the concept grew into HealthCare Compare, which went public in 1987 at $11 a share; it recently sold for $17. The Pritzkers still own a minority stake. NOTHING IS as potentially important to the Pritzker fortune as Tom's decision several years ago to quicken Hyatt's growth. Nick, a first cousin to Jay and Bob but a member of Tom's generation by age, was equally instrumental in devising that strategy. During the 1970s Hyatt thrived simply by signing contracts to manage hotels that were owned by real estate developers and other investors. But in the 1980s those investors began demanding that hotel companies assume some of the risks of ownership in exchange for the management contract. The Pritzkers realized that for Hyatt to grow, the company would have to invest heavily in the real estate side of the business. Nick, who is president of Hyatt's development arm, has led the company's move into real estate, working hard to make Hyatt a big factor in the megaresort segment of the business. The Hyatt Regency Waikoloa, a $360 million haven in Hawaii developed by Hyatt, the Bass brothers, and two Japanese companies, is scheduled to open in September; it is the most expensive hotel ever built. Nick is a gregarious sports nut who claims to be the only Pritzker with his name on a company: Nick's Aqua Sports, an outfit that rents windsurfing boards and other sports gear at several resort hotels. The only Pritzker who can check you into a Hyatt, as one of the family's stock lines goes, is John, 34, Jay's second-oldest son. He started as a busboy at 14, took time out for college, and made his way through Hyatts in six cities before arriving in San Francisco, where he is a regional manager overseeing ten hotels. John's cousin Penny, 28, has worked for Hyatt almost as long. As a little girl, she and her father, Donald, sometimes stopped by the Hyatt near their home to make sure the bathrooms were clean. She earned degrees in law and business from Stanford's joint program, and now represents Hyatt in a joint venture to develop luxury housing for the elderly. Penny's brother Tony, 27, graduated with an engineering degree from Dartmouth and is counted on by the family to eventually succeed Bob as head of Marmon. He works in sales and marketing at a Marmon company in New Haven, Connecticut, that makes wire and cable. FOR NOW, no other Pritzkers are active in the organization. Jay's son Danny, 28, is a rock musician, though he, too, has a law degree, just in case. Jay's daughter Gigi, 25, was recently in Bhutan to produce a documentary that she hopes to sell to the BBC. None of Bob's three offspring from his first marriage work in the business, though his daughter Karen, 30, was an editor at Working Mother before the Pritzkers sold it and McCall's magazine in 1986 to a joint venture that includes Time Inc., publisher of FORTUNE. Donald's son Jay Robert (known as J.B.) is a 23-year-old legislative assistant to North Carolina Senator Terry Sanford, and says he eventually wants to run for office. Tom's generation clearly intends to make its contribution to the family empire, though the younger Pritzkers are likely to be working with their elders for a long time. After all, if Jay and Bob turn out to be as spry as old A.N. was, they could be active for the next 25 years. The challenges facing the next generation are imposing. The diversity of their holdings should keep the family from being ruined by a single calamity, as so many oil-rich families, for example, were devastated when energy prices collapsed. Yet diversity is much tougher to manage. ''The breadth of what we're taking on is humongous, staggering,'' acknowledges Tom. In his mind, the larger issue is not merely keeping the fortune together: ''I view as my biggest challenge the task of maintaining a cohesive family unit. It obviously gets more difficult as the generations spread out. At some point, it becomes impossible. But whether that is at 30 people or 130 people, I don't know.'' The Pritzkers are now 29 strong, and still abuilding.

CHART: NOT AVAILABLE CREDIT: NO CREDIT CAPTION: The Pritzker Family Abram -- known as A.N. -- and his progeny comprise eight of the ten Pritzkers (shown in yellow) who have devoted their careers to the family business. DESCRIPTION: Four generations of Pritzker family, showing those who are or have been involved in family business.

CHART: Company 1987 Sales

HYATT HOTELS $1.8 billion HYATT INTERNATIONAL $530 million Comments Hyatt chain manages 135 hotels and resorts; 23 more are under construction; 58,000 employees. Revenue figures represent total hotel receipts, out of which Hyatt earns management fees.

MARMON GROUP $3.2 billion Comments Owns and operates 60 industrial companies, including one of the largest U.S. manufacturers of railroad tank cars; 25,550 employees.

DALFORT Braniff $297 million Conwood (est.)$200 million Airline maintenance $84 million Comments Owns some 65% of Braniff, the Dallas airline that emerged from bankruptcy in 1983; owns 95% of Conwood, the largest U.S. manufacturer of smokeless tobacco products; provides airline maintenance services for Braniff, Federal Express, and other carriers. Also has valuable loss carry-forwards to offset future tax liability.

TICKETMASTER* $43 million Comments Largest computerized ticketing service. Last year sold $300 million of tickets to sporting and other events.

FMG N.A. Comments Manages the New Orleans Superdome, the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on New York's Long Island, and other sports arenas.

REAL ESTATE N.A. Comments Pritzker entities have substantial interests in numerous Hyatt properties, office buildings, and timberland.

*Ticketmaster has minority shareholders.

CREDIT: NO CREDIT CAPTION:The Pritzker Portfolio Wholly owned companies Hyatt Hotels and Marmon are the family jewels. Lesser-known Dalfort paid $406 million in 1985 to buy Conwood. DESCRIPTION: See above.

CHART: Company Share

S&W Berisford 11% Comments British sugar producer; Pritzkers paid $124 million for their stake.

Diagnostic Ventures 40% Comments Small California medical equipment leasing company.

Elsinore 17% Comments Hotel and casino operator; spun off from Hyatt in 1979.

Gradco Systems* 9% Comments Supplier of sheet feeders and sorters for printers and copiers

HealthCare Compare 23% Comments Chicago firm that monitors health care costs for corporations.

Levitz Furniture 12% Comments Nationwide retailer of home furnishings.

Montgomery Securities 12% Comments San Francisco brokerage firm.

Ramada* 7% Comments Hotel operator; Pritzkers reportedly may offer to buy the company.

Tie Communications** 17% Comments Telecommunications equipment manufacturer.

*Investment is owned by Pritzker-led group. **The Pritzkers own preferred stock convertible in 1990 to 17% of common stock.

CREDIT: NO CREDIT CAPTION: Minority-owned companies This list of partial holdings is hardly all-encompassing; it includes only the Pritzkers' publicly reported investments. DESCRIPTION: See above.