Jesse Owens’ Olympic gold medal from 1936 Berlin Olympic Games was sold for $1.4 million at an online auction conducted by SCP Auctions. Medal was purchased by Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle, who also owns William Falkner’s Nobel Prize for literature.
Before the auction, Owens’ daughter Marlene Owens Rankin of Chicago, told The Associated Press “We just hope that it’s purchased by an institution where the public could have access to it, a museum or something like that.”
In all Burkle paid $1,466,574, the highest price on record for an Olympic memorabilia. The Los Angeles-based billionaire’s investment portfolio includes retail, food and entertainment companies. No comments made by Burkle, but SCP Auction said he has plans for an educational tour for the Olympic medal and Nobel Prize.
Owens won gold in the 100 and 200 meters, 4 x 100 relay and long jump at games attended by Adolf Hitler. For which specific event this medal was won is unidentifiable.
This medal belonged to the estate of Elaine Plaines-Robinson, the wife of Owens’ friend Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. Owens gave this medals as a gift to Robinson for helping him find work after the Olympics. After Robinson’s death in 1949, his wife Elaine Plaines-Robinson inherited his estate. The medal was sold by her estate.
The previous record for highest price paid for a US Olympic item was $657,250 for Mike Eruzione’s jersey from 1980 the “Miracle on Ice,” last February. In April 2012, a silver cup awarded to the winner of the first modern-day Olympic marathon in 1896 sold for $865,000.
Other top items at the auction included Jackie Robinson’s game-used bats from 1949 National League Most Valuable Player season and the 1955 World Series, which sold for $183,500 and $128,617, respectively; and a Jackie Robinson single-signed baseball attracted a record bid of $104,765.
Source: Fox News