Meet the Ricketts: Diverse views, same team

December 1, 2009 10:25:45 AM PST
Meet the Ricketts-- the family that will own and run the Chicago Cubs.They are the children of the man who founded T.D. Ameritrade, an online brokerage firm. The family made a fortune when T.D. Ameritrade went public and they continue to own an estimated 18 percent of the company. The Cubs will be just one part of a multi-billion dollar family portfolio.

VIDEO: Watch the Ricketts' family press conference at Wrigley Field

While a close family they are also strong individuals. Tom is 43-years old. He earned an MBA from the University of Chicago and is a successful investment banker who did not work for the family business. He lives on the North Shore and will be chairman of the board of the Cubs.

Peter, the big brother at 45-years old, makes his home in Omaha, Nebraska, which is the home office of the company his father founded. He is still a board member of that company. Also University Of Chicago MBA, he ran for the U.S. Senate in Nebraska as a conservative Republican on a family values platform; He is opposed to gay marriage.

Laura, 41, is the only daughter. She earned her law degree at Michigan. She lives in Chicago and serves on the board of Lambda Legal, a national organization fighting for gay rights-- including same sex marriage.

Todd, 39, is a North Shore resident who attended Loyola University but left before earning his degree. He co-founded a web based eco-travel site with his sister.

With Pete a conservative and Laura a liberal, how does it work?

"There's very much political as well as other diversity in our family. I think it is really, it makes us stronger. We don't agree on all the issues of the day but when it comes right down to it, we are family and love each other and that doesn't, that never changes. But it certainly makes for lively conversations. My parents have always encouraged us to be active and involved in the community and politically active, so, we got all the angles covered here. Todd always says that our political efforts and contributions and efforts cancel each other out," said Laura, laughing, "so we might as well not give at all."

Peter has a reputation as the 'go to guy' for conservative fundraising in Nebraska.

"Well, I've taken advantage of the opportunities I have in Nebraska but I think Laura said it very well, that our differences are about politics and that we are a strong family and we love each other," said Pete.

"I also think it's a testament to how strong our family relationship is that they have such diverging opinions and we are all still sitting here, we still love each other and I take it back to something my mom used to say to us as kids which was, 'You can fight all you want in the house but as soon as you leave, remember you're a family,'" said Todd.

On the Cubs, the family is united. Chairman of the Board Tom said there's no mistaking that.

"It's a different type of ownership we have here. It's not a corporate owner. We're able to focus on one goal, which is the World Series. We're able to reinvest the profits that we make from the team to fix up the stadium and improve the team," said Tom.


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