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Kapos: Ken Griffin makes big plans in Palm Beach

Chicago billionaire Ken Griffin

Chicago billionaire Ken Griffin has paid $85 million for an oceanfront estate in Palm Beach, Forida, that neighbors property he already owns there. | File photo

Chicago billionaire philanthropist Ken Griffin has paid $85 million for an oceanfront estate in Palm Beach, Florida, that neighbors property he already owns there.

It’s the second most expensive single real estate transaction in the area, according to the Palm Beach Daily News. First was a 2008 deal by President-elect Donald Trump, who sold a mansion for $95 million.

Griffin, the founder of the Chicago-based hedge fund company Citadel and the market-maker Citadel Securities, plans to build a massive estate. His vacation home will be designed by architect Ugo Sap.

Griffin reportedly now owns more than 12 acres of contiguous land with about 871 feet of oceanfront. The tab for all that gorgeousness: $229.85 million.

Meet Rahm Emanuel’s fishing buddy

Sidney "Skip" Herman, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Meg Herman

Sidney “Skip” Herman, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Meg Herman | Supplied photo

Buried in all those emails released by Mayor Rahm Emanuel is the name of Sidney “Skip” Herman.

That small mention in a 2015 email doesn’t convey the big relationship Herman has with the mayor. They’re fishing buddies.

Emanuel calls Herman “a close friend for years. It’s hard not to love a guy who loves Chicago as much as he does.”

In an interview, Herman says they met at a 2002 fundraiser during Emanuel’s run for Congress. They became fast friends, even vacationing together and with their families at Herman’s Montana home. There, they fly fish for trout. It’s a sport fit for the mayor, says Herman.

“You’re not sitting on the dock. You’re constantly moving and casting and trying to solve the problem about where the fish are,” Herman says. “For someone who can be intense, it’s fun. It’s competitive. It helps clear your mind.”

Herman’s other Montana fishing pals include Jim Messina, who chaired President Barack Obama‘s 2012 campaign, and actor Michael Keaton.

According to the recently released email dated May 4, 2015, Emanuel was in Montana with friends Paul Levy, a developer, and Michael Alter, owner of the WNBA’s Chicago Sky.

In Chicago, Herman casts his line on the legal profession.

He was a partner at the Kirkland & Ellis law firm before becoming a founder of Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott. That law firm represented George W. Bush in the Florida election recount of 2000.

It’s not a case Herman endorsed taking on, but he’s a team player and now manages the firm after years representing big-name clients, including Dominick’s, Bayer and DuPont. Herman is also a life member of Northwestern’s law school board.

Herman grew up in Chicago, attended Francis Parker School and for a time dreamed of going into politics. He worked on campaigns for Sen. Adlai Stevenson III and Congressman Abner Mikva.

His father is Leonard Herman, who owned a carpet-padding manufacturing company.

Herman’s sister is Lucy Moog, the recently elected 43rd Ward Democratic committeeman. She’s married to tech entrepreneur Matt Moog.

Herman met his attorney wife, Meg Herman, in 1988 during a four-week trial. He was defending Katy Industries in a securities fraud case. She was on the opposing side.

They later married and in a nod to that case, they named their daughter Katy. Her middle name is Banks, of course, after baseball great Ernie Banks. Herman’s a die-hard Cubs fan.

In a more recent sentimental move, Herman surprised his wife with a $100,000 donation to Massena Memorial Hospital in New York in honor of her late father.

Of his friendship with Emanuel, Herman says: “Do we talk about stuff? Sure, but we try not to.”

DuSable’s nod to D.C.

Lonnie Bunch III

Lonnie Bunch III | Supplied photo

Lonnie Bunch III, the founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, will be honored at the DuSable Museum’s annual “Night of 100 Stars” gala.

It’s a sign of synergy between the Washington, D.C., and Chicago museums, both of which focus on telling the story of the African-American experience.

“Given the nature of our two institutions, it means we’ll have many opportunities to collaborate in the future,” says Perri Irmer, the DuSable’s president and CEO.

The gala news comes on the heels of DuSable adding new members to its board, including Chicago artist Chance the Rapper.

Before heading to D.C., Bunch headed the Chicago History Museum.

Also being honored is Chicago native Ertharin Cousin, executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme. Based in Rome, it’s the world’s largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security.

CarePages founder has written a book about coping with stress

Eric Langshur

Eric Langshur | Supplied photo

The Chicago entrepreneur who started CarePages, a website for hospital patients and their families, has co-written a book on how to deal with stress. “Start Here: Master the Lifelong Habit of Wellbeing” could be a good go-to book for dealing with post-election angst.

Author Eric Langshur knows about stress. In 1998, his now healthy son was born without a left heart ventricle. Through all the hospital procedures and stays, Langshur shared updates on a website with family and friends.

That was the beginning of the CarePages, which was bought by AOL co-founder Steve Case in 2007.

Langshur set out to study how to deal with stress and teamed up with Nate Klemp, a philosophy grad from Stanford, to start Life Cross Training consulting company and write the book.

Read more Taking Names at shiakapos.com.