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Rocky Wirtz

Whispers of the D-word—“dynasty”—began in 2013 after Wirtz’s Chicago Blackhawks won their second Stanley Cup in three years. When they hoisted their third last year, those whispers became a chorus. Winning the Big One with any sports franchise confers power—and produces big profits. Thanks to their Cup runs, the Hawks are now the fourth most … Read more

Bruce Rauner

The first Republican governor in 12 years, Rauner charged into office vowing to shake up Springfield, but instead has inflicted the state with shaken-government syndrome. Sure, he’s flexed his substantial political muscle. But to whose benefit? He shut down state government to pressure House speaker Mike Madigan (No. 5) and Senate president John Cullerton ([[[No. … Read more

Tom Ricketts

It was only a couple of years ago that the Cubs’ head honcho seemed to be suffering a severe power deficit. The rooftop owners were still giving him fits, the club still stunk, and sports talk mocked him for being too nice to win. But just as those who best know Ricketts predicted, he put … Read more

J.B. Pritzker

As bad a year as Rahm had at the power table, Pritzker seemed to turn over all aces. In October, the billionaire financier burnished his philanthropic rep by dropping a cool $100 million to support scholarships at Northwestern University’s law school, the largest gift ever to a U.S. law school. The ice-skating ribbon in Maggie … Read more

Ken Griffin

By some measures, the recently divorced Griffin may be the most eligible bachelor in town. Forbes pegs his net worth at $7.2 billion, making him Chicago’s richest man. And he’s getting richer by the minute: Citadel’s main funds rose nearly 13 percent from January 1, 2015 through November, according to Bloomberg, as the S&P closed … Read more

Mike Madigan

In 2015, Madigan did what he does best: be Mike Madigan. Just as he’s done for, well, practically forever, the wily speaker used his absolute control over the statehouse to stand as the impenetrable roadblock to anything—anything!—that threatens his power source: his 71-seat Democratic supermajority. We defy you to name one of Madigan’s accomplishments last … Read more

Sam Zell

When this brass-tacks billionaire talks investing, people listen. Why wouldn’t they? Last year, three publicly traded real estate investment trusts that Zell controls delivered the largest returns of any in town. In October, one of those trusts sold off a quarter of its apartment properties for $5.3 billion, and Zell is reportedly selling more this year, … Read more

Theaster Gates

Leave it to Gates to steal the show during the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial last summer. Despite a star-studded roster of 150 architects from around the world—David Adjaye and Steven Holl included—Gates was the talk of the town, thanks to the opening of his $4.5 million Stony Island Arts Bank ([[[see page 48]]]), by far … Read more

Julia Stasch

Hers is the hand that controls a spigot pouring out $220 million a year in grants, more than any other foundation in Chicago. Though Stasch has held the top job for barely a year, she’s already well into a major overhaul: MacArthur is narrowing its focus, seeking a bigger impact in fewer areas (justice, climate … Read more

Mary Dillon

Dillon’s three years at the helm of the Bolingbrook-based retailer have been a thing of beauty. Ulta’s current 860 stores? Dillon wants 1,200. Ulta has hired more than 5,300 people to staff the hundreds of stores she’s already opened. Among her fans: Starbucks, which recently asked her to join its board.