Edit Module Mellody Hobson | Chicago magazine
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Mellody Hobson

President, Ariel Investments

Age: 46

Photo: Andy Goodwin

Don’t call her George Lucas’s wife. The only Chicagoan to land on Time magazine’s 2015 list of the 100 most influential people—alongside the likes of Apple CEO Tim Cook and the infamous Koch brothers—Hobson is, of course, a major power in corporate America: She’s president of Ariel Investments and on several blue-chip boards (Starbucks, Estée Lauder, DreamWorks). But Hobson sits so high on this list in part because her personal influence is so outsize. “My life was altered by meeting her,” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg told Vanity Fair last April, crediting a comment Hobson made for inspiring her to write the bestseller Lean In. More people whose lives are being altered by this idealistic one-percenter: the 15,000 Chicago schoolchildren in After School Matters, the nonprofit she chairs.

Power Quote “We cannot afford to be colorblind. We have to be color brave.”

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