Curtis Duffy

The owner of Grace—one of only three Chicago restaurants to ever earn three Michelin stars—can command $940 for a nine-course dinner for two with wine pairings and still pack the seats. Duffy’s fame extended further this year: For Grace, a documentary about him, garnered impressive buzz on the festival circuit.

Zach Fardon

Chicago’s storied history of corruption tends to keep its U.S. attorneys busy, and Fardon certainly isn’t getting shortchanged. His office recently nabbed former U.S. House speaker Dennis Hastert and on-the-take ex–CPS chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett; it was the first in the nation to drop the hammer on a “spoofer,” a trader who cheated millions of small … Read more

John Cullerton

In the great mess that is Springfield, Cullerton has emerged as the voice of moderation, trying to bring together the warring speaker and governor. He has put together major compromise proposals for school funding and pension reform. Along the way, he has ticked off both Madigan and Rauner—which suggests he’s doing something right.

George Lucas

The Force is definitely with Lucas. He’s worth billions. He’s got a powerful, glamorous wife (No. 18). A new baby. And an old baby, Star Wars, that was, of course, just reinvigorated by director J.J. Abrams and smashed box-office records around the world. (Lucas consulted on the film.) New interest in the Star Wars series … Read more

Fred Eychaner

What is Eychaner up to? Few people seem to know—and that’s just how the wealthy radio station owner likes it. Behind the scenes, however, he’s a macher of the first order. If Hillary makes it into the White House, she’ll have this Democratic megadonor, in part, to thank.

Neil Bluhm

Bluhm has struggled with union headaches lately, and his upscale Rivers Casino in Des Plaines ended a four-year growth streak last year. But it’s still the most profitable casino in Illinois. And Bluhm shows no signs of slowing down: The art lover was recently elected a board cochair of New York’s prestigious Whitney Museum of … Read more

John Rogers Jr.

Name someone in Chicago’s power crowd, particularly its business elites, and chances are that Rogers has placed, advised, or mentored them—including a gal named Hobson (No. 18) and a fella named Obama. He marries well too: First wife Desiree Rogers went on to be Johnson Publishing’s CEO, and ex-wife No. 2, Sharon Fairley, was just … Read more

Irene Rosenfeld

The past year can’t have been much fun for Rosenfeld, thanks to pressure from major investors Nelson Peltz and William Ackman that led to intense cost cutting. But it paid off: Mondelez stock rose 23 percent in 2015, handily beating both its industry peers and the S&P 500. Her next tasks are to goose growth … Read more

Dan Webb

Webb’s slogan should be “Better Call Dan.” If major wrongdoing is suspected, he’s the guy you want. Webb’s latest: investigating Rahm’s law office and helping Ferguson, Missouri, hash out a settlement with the feds over police abuses.

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