John is the Chairman, CEO and Chief Investment Officer for Ariel Investments. John’s passion for investing began at age 12, when his father began buying him stocks as Christmas and birthday gifts. His interest in equities grew at Princeton University, where he majored in economics, and over the two-plus years he worked as a stockbroker for William Blair & Company, LLC.
In 1983, John founded Ariel Investments to employ a patient, value strategy in small and medium-size companies. He strongly believes in giving back to Chicago, sitting on the corporate boards of Exelon and McDonald’s, and serving as trustee to the University of Chicago.
Nationally, John is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a director of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. In 2008, he was awarded Princeton University’s highest honor, the Woodrow Wilson Award, presented each year to the alumnus whose career embodies a commitment to national service.
Following the election of President Barack Obama, John served as co-chair for the Presidential Inaugural Committee 2009. Today, he chairs the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans.
In 2013, John was featured alongside legendary investors Warren Buffett, Sir John Templeton and Benjamin Graham in the distinguished book: The World’s 99 Greatest Investors by Magnus Angenfelt.
John received an AB in economics from Princeton University, where he was also captain of the varsity basketball team.