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Joe Ricketts
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    (July 16, 1941- )
    Born in Nebraska City, Nebraska
    Birth name was John Joseph Ricketts
    Founder and former CEO of TD Ameritrade
    Purchased controlling interest in the Chicago Cubs (2009)
    Father of Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts
    Net worth: $2.1 billion (2017)
    He was replaced as CEO of Ameritrade after the stock price dropped by more than 90% during the dot-com crash (2000).
    He claims to be a political independent, yet his PAC Taxpayers Against Earmarks never contributed to a campaign to defeat a Republican politician who used earmarks.
    A plan (ultimately aborted after it leaked to the New York Times) for his PAC to spend $10 million on ads publicizing incendiary statements by Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama’s former pastor, during the 2012 election ticked off Chicago mayor (and former Obama Chief of Staff) Rahm Emmanuel, scuttling proposals for public financing of renovations to Wrigley Field.
    He contributed to the anti-Trump Our Principles PAC during the Republican primaries, then contributed over $1 million to Trump during the general election (2016).
    He closed down the digital news service a week after the employees voted to unionize (2017).
    The website Splinter News posted a batch of his emails in which he endorsed racist jokes (including responding ‘great laugh’ to a joke using the n-word) and passed along anti-Muslim conspiracy theories.
    When his son Pete suggested that he should check the veracity of stories on snopes before forwarding emails, he responded with, ‘I think Islam is a cult and not a religion.’
    He got his first job in third grade, cleaning stools at the county courthouse.
    He has been married to Marlene Volkmer for over 50 years.
    He founded the Opportunity Education Foundation, which underwrites the cost of training teachers in the Third World.
    An associate said, ‘He’s a very straightforward guy. He doesn’t play games with people. He lets you know how he feels, positive or negative, and he appreciates the same from people who deal with him.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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