Illinois’ Richest Man Just Paid $43 Million For A Piece Of Paper
Okay, with a headline like that, there's obviously some stuff to unpack here. Questions need to be answered. For instance, who is Illinois' richest man, and what piece of paper could be worth $43 million?
I'll tell you that the richest guy in Illinois is most certainly not a household name, but you've definitely heard about this valuable piece of paper.
First Things First---Who Is Illinois' Richest Man?
That would be the man pictured above, 52 year old Ken Griffin, founder and CEO of Citadel, a hedge fund that manages $30 billion or more of assets. The last Forbes piece on the wealthiest people in the United States pegged Ken's net worth at about $16 billion.
Mr. Griffin appears to be a man who is unafraid to spend large sums of money on things he wants and also things that he supports through philanthropy. Some examples (CNBC):
- He owns the most expensive home ever sold in the U.S., a penthouse overlooking Central Park in New York City that Griffin bought in 2019 for $238 million.
- In recent years, the billionaire has reportedly spent more than $750 million on real estate in Chicago, New York, Miami, Palm Beach, Florida and London.
- The same week that Griffin’s New York penthouse deal was finalized in January 2019, CNBC also reported that he was paying $122 million for a 16,000-square-foot mansion located near Buckingham Palace in the heart of London.
- Griffin is also a record-holder in his hometown of Chicago, where the billionaire paid $58.5 million for the top four floors of a condo building in 2018 (the largest home sale ever in that city).
- Griffin also bought the most expensive property ever sold in Miami in 2015, a pair of penthouses that cost $60 million combined.
So What Did Ken Griffin Drop $43 Million On?
Before I tell you, take a look at the photo below and make your guess:
Ken Griffin just paid $43.2 million for a copy of the Constitution. As you might imagine, it's not just any copy, either. I know, you're probably thinking that for that kind of money he should be getting the original. Well, this one is pretty close.
After the U.S. Constitution was signed—by most, but not all, of the Constitutional Convention’s delegates—on September 17, 1787, about 500 copies were printed for internal government use. From that first printing, only 13 still exist (that we know of).
Ken Griffin just bought one of the 13 copies still known to exist. That purchase sets a record for the most expensive historical document ever sold. The previous record-holder was Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Leicester, which Bill Gates bought for $30.8 million in 1994.
In a statement, Griffin said he intends "to ensure that this copy of our Constitution will be available for all Americans and visitors to view and appreciate in our museums and other public spaces."