Chicago, IL

Ken Griffin: The richest person in Chicago

Akhil Aravind

Today we will go through the inspiring story of the richest person in Chicago - Ken Griffin - how he made his vast fortune and how he is utilizing his wealth for the good of society.

Ken Griffin, founder and CEO of Citadel LLC is the richest person in Chicago with a real time net worth of $25.5B as of 20th February 2022.

Early life

Griffin was born in 1968 in Daytona Beach. He spent his childhood across Florida, Texas, and Wisconsin and showed his entrepreneurialism early on. He started his first business, a discount mail-order education software firm called EDCOM, when he was still in high school.

Education & Entrepreneurialism

He started to make a small range of investments in 1986 while he was studying economics at Harvard. His inner passion and enthusiasm as a young business mind convinced the Harvard authorities to allow him to install an antenna to observe the stock prices on the stock market in real time. This was an exception since the university usually didn’t let outsiders install equipment in their compound.

Also in 1987, at an age of 19, he launched his first fund with $265,000. In 1989, he graduated from the university with a degree in economics. Then he moved to Chicago for working in Glenwood Capital Investments. Later he started his own business, Citadel LLC, on 1st November 1990 with an initial capital of $4.2 million.

Through his company, Griffin generated more than $28 Billion in profit as an average annual return of 20 % for his clients. Citadel now has $39 billion in assets and is estimated to have a profit of $ 2.36 billion during the first half of 2020.

Helping hands for Millions

  • During the great pandemic, Griffin funded the State Department's rescue of 800 U.S. citizens from Wuhan. He even donated $45 million to community initiatives in cities like Chicago and Miami.
  • Griffin had also spent around $1.3 billion on philanthropic causes.
  • In early February, Citadel spend $7.5 million on organizations in China to help victims to withstand the deadly virus, including Hubei Xinhua Hospital in the Chinese city of Wuhan as well as the Hubei Charity Federation and China Charity Federation.


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