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JPMorgan Chase Board Member & Former Obama “Inner Circle” Member Dies In ‘Racing Accident’

Billionaire businessman James Crown, 70, reportedly died Sunday in a car racing accident in Colorado.

Crown, a board member of JP Morgan Chase, died in the single-vehicle crash after colliding with an impact barrier at Aspen Motorsports Park in Woody Creek, Colorado, according to The Colorado Sun.

The Colorado Sun reports:

James “Jim” Crown, the 70-year-old businessman, socialite and member of the billionaire Crown family who owns Aspen Skiing Co., died Sunday in a crash at the Aspen Motorsports Park in Woody Creek.

The Pitkin County Coroner’s Office says he collided with an impact barrier at the member-owned, country club motorsports park. The club’s website says it offers a track for racing cars as well as a go-kart track.

“The official cause of death is pending autopsy although multiple blunt force trauma is evident,” the coroner’s office said in a news release. “The manner is accident.”

The crash is being investigated by the coroner’s office, as well as the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and the Colorado State Patrol. A spokesman for the State Patrol said the agency was called to the scene at about 2:45 p.m.

“Due to the ongoing investigation, no further details will be released at this time,” the news release said.

At the time of his death, Crown — who lived in Chicago but frequented Colorado — was the chairman emeritus of the board overseeing the Aspen Institute, which this week is hosting the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen. He was also a managing partner of Aspen Skiing Co.

He was the grandson of industrialist Henry Crown and served as director of General Dynamic Corp. and JPMorgan Chase.

Crown was once labeled a member of Barack Obama’s “inner circle” and served on Obama’s intelligence advisory board.

From NBC News in 2008:

Some have played a major role in Obama’s campaign, including Penny Pritzker, a billionaire Hyatt hotel heiress and Obama’s national fundraising chairman; James Crown, son of Chicago billionaire Lester Crown and another prominent member of the local Jewish community; and David Axelrod, who has been Obama’s Chicago-based political adviser and confidant since his U.S. Senate campaign in 2006.

Together they constitute the core of Obama’s inner circle, the friends he had before he became a senator and entertained thoughts of the presidency, and who he would bring with him in a sense if he ends up in the White House.

Crown was on the Aspen Institute board of trustees.

From the Aspen Institute:

James S. Crown is chairman and chief executive officer of Henry Crown and Company, a privately owned company which invests in public and private securities, real estate, and operating companies. He is chairman of The Aspen Institute, and trustee of the Museum of Science and Industry and the University of Chicago. He serves as lead director of General Dynamics Corporation and is a director of JPMorgan Chase. Crown is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a former member of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board appointed by President Barack Obama. Crown was born in Chicago in 1953, the son of Lester and Renée (Schine) Crown. He earned a B.A. in political science in 1976 from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. He received his law degree in 1980 from Stanford Law School, where he was projects editor of the Stanford Law Review and a member of the Stanford Public Interest Law Foundation. Upon graduating from law school, Crown joined Salomon Brothers Inc, in New York City, as an associate. He became a vice president of the Capital Markets Service Group in January 1983. In April 1985 he returned to Chicago to join his family’s investment firm.Crown has been married to the former Paula Hannaway since 1985. He and Paula have four children.

The Aspen Institute receives funding from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

From Wikipedia:

The Aspen Institute is largely funded by foundations such as the Carnegie Corporation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Gates Foundation, the Lumina Foundation, and the Ford Foundation, by seminar fees, and by individual donations. Its board of trustees includes leaders from politics, government, business and academia who also contribute to its support. A report by the Center for International Policy’s Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative of the top 50 think tanks on the University of Pennsylvania’s Global Go-To Think Tanks rating index found that during between 2014 and 2018 the Aspen Institute received the fifth-highest amount of funding from outside the United States compared to other think tanks, with a total of more than US$8 million from donors that originated primarily in Western democracies but also “sizeable donations from undemocratic regimes in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.”

Crown’s bio page on JPMorgan Chase has already been scrubbed:

JPMorgan Chase has been entangled in litigation related to Jeffrey Epstein’s sex crimes.

The financial institution faced accusations of retaining Epstein as a client despite being a known pedophile.

JPMorgan Chase announced earlier this month a massive $290 million settlement with victims of Jeffrey Epstein in a class action lawsuit.

JPMorgan Reaches Settlement With Jeffrey Epstein Victims

The financial institution hasn’t released details of the settlement but reports indicate up to 100 individuals could receive payments from the suit.

“Settlement is in the best interests of all parties, especially the survivors who were the victims of Epstein’s terrible abuse,” a joint statement from the financial institution and attorneys for the victims reportedly said.


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