John W. Rogers, Jr. 

Founder, Chairman, Co-CEO & Chief Investment Officer

Ariel Investments


This year, the People’s Music School is thrilled to be honoring John W. Rogers, Jr., for his significant impact on our students and our organization. John has made some very big dreams a reality for our students over the years, sponsoring 20 students over the past two summers to attend intensive, transformational summer programs that have expanded their worlds and deepened their knowledge. These 20 Rogers Music Scholars have attended the Gifted Education Research and Resource Institute at Purdue University, the Vancouver Island Music Academy, YOLA National Institute, Birch Creek Music Performance Center, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, and Berklee’s Aspire: Five Week intensive. Our mission is to provide access to the benefits of high-quality, tuition-free music education, and John has directly enabled exactly that mission for these 20 young people.

John’s passion for investing began at age 12 when his father started buying him stocks as Christmas and birthday gifts. His interest in equities grew while in college and over the two-and-a-half years after graduation he worked as a stockbroker at William Blair & Company. In 1983, John founded Ariel to invest in undervalued small-and medium-sized companies. While Ariel’s research capabilities have since expanded, his patient approach still anchors the firm today.

He received an AB in economics from Princeton University, where he was also captain of the varsity basketball team. John is active civically and professionally based on his belief that these engagements make him a better leader and a better investor. Beyond Ariel, he is a member of the board of directors of NIKE, The New York Times Company, Ryan Specialty Group Holdings and the Obama Foundation, and was a board member of McDonald’s for over 20 years. John also serves as Vice Chair of the board of trustees of The University of Chicago.