Kenneth Griffin, CEO of hedge fund Citadel in Chicago, set a world record for a landmark document at auction Thursday when he purchased the 1787 text, according to auction house Sotheby’s, which arranged the sale.
The 53-year-old billionaire’s personal fortune is estimated at nearly $ 21 billion, according to Forbes, making him the 47th richest American. Citadel, meanwhile, manages some $ 40 billion in assets, according to the magazine.
Griffin outbid a group of some 17,000 cryptocurrency investors, dubbed ConstitutionDAO, who had raised $ 40 million in an attempt to buy the document, promising to expose it in the public digital domain.
Griffin will lend his copy of the Constitution free of charge to the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas, which will display it without charging visitors, Sotheby’s said.
According to Forbes, Kenneth Griffin is the 47th richest American.
âThe US Constitution is a sacred document that enshrines the rights of every American and all who aspire to be,â Griffin wrote in a statement released by the auction house.
He added that “this copy of our Constitution will be accessible to all Americans and visitors.”
Crystal Bridges Board Chair Olivia Walton said the museum was “honored to exhibit one of the most important documents in our country’s history.”
Sotheby’s said the item was one of 13 known surviving copies of the American Charter, signed on September 17, 1787 at Independence Hall in Philadelphia by America’s Founding Fathers, including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and James Madison.
The copy was probably part of a print run of 500 the day before the signing and probably came off the press on the evening of September 16, 1787.
The original copy sold Thursday – one of only two still in private hands, in this case the American collector Dorothy Tapper Goldman – was estimated last September between 15 and 20 million dollars.
In the end, it cost more than double that amount, and in just eight minutes, bidders in the New York auction room but also on the phone around the world increased their bids.