The lone Democrat among a family of Republicans, she is believed to be the first openly gay owner in the four major American professional sports. Ms. Ricketts practiced law at the Chicago law firm of Schiff, Hardin & Waite (now Schiff Hardin LLP) where she was an associate in the Corporate and Securities Practice Group and concentrated her practice in mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, and general corporate and securities law matters. She left the practice of law to co-found Ecotravel, LLC. Dedicated to fostering and promoting ecotourism worldwide, Ecotravel, LLC operated Ecotravel.com, an online magazine of ecotourism news and information and directory of ecotourism service providers. Active in the past with Lambda Legal and President Obama’s LGBT campaign-finance committee, Laura now cochairs the Democratic National Committee’s LGBT Leadership Council and she has gotten involved with the University of Chicago's new LGBT alumni group. In May Laura gave birth to a daughter, Audrey, the first child for her and longtime partner Heidi Grathouse. Ms. Ricketts earned an A.B. in Philosophy from the University of Chicago and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. She lives in Chicago with her daughter.