Hobson was born in Chicago, Illinois. She is African-American. She was educated at St. Ignatius College Prep high school, and subsequently attended Princeton University, graduating in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Soon after her graduation from Princeton, Hobson joined Ariel Investments, LLC as an intern and rose to become the firm’s senior vice president and director of marketing. In 2000, she ascended to become the president of Ariel, a Chicago investment firm that manages over $9 billion in assets. It is also one of the largest African American-owned money management and mutual fund companies in the United States.
Hobson is also the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Ariel Mutual Funds and the Chairman of DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc.. She is a regular contributor on financial issues to ABC‘s Good Morning America and a spokesperson for the annual Ariel/Schwab Black Investor Survey.
Hobson serves on the board of many organizations, including the Chicago Public Library, the Field Museum, the Chicago Public Education Fund, and the Sundance Institute. She is also a director of the Starbucks Corporation, The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. and Groupon. Hobson has been acclaimed in selections such as Ebony magazine’s “20 Leaders of the Future” (1992), Working Women Magazine’s “20 Under 30” (1992), the World Economic Forum‘s “Global Leaders of Tomorrow” (2001), Esquire‘s “America’s Best and Brightest” (2002), The Wall Street Journal‘s 50 “Women to Watch” (2004).
Hobson created and hosted a show on ABC on May 29, 2009, called Unbroke: What You Need to Know About Money, featuring celebrities such as the Jonas Brothers, Oscar the Grouch and Samuel L. Jackson.
Hobson began dating film director and producer George Lucas in 2006, after they met at a business conference. Hobson and Lucas announced their engagement in January 2013, and were married on June 22, 2013, at Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch. They have one daughter together, Everest Hobson Lucas, who was born via surrogacy in August 2013.
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