The Presidential Medal of Honor bestowed upon the late track star Jesse Owens by President Gerald Ford in 1976 sold for a record-breaking price of $128,617 Sunday morning by SCP Auctions.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) March 25, 2018
Per Darren Rovell of ESPN, “Owens’ three daughters consigned both the Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal, which are rarely sold, to the auction house. The Congressional Gold Medal, given to Owens posthumously by President George Bush in 1990, sold for $85,592.”
Owens became famous internationally for his incredible performance at the 1936 Summer Olympics, which were held in Berlin, Germany while Adolf Hitler was in power. He won four gold medals in those games competing in track and field events.
Per the ESPN report, Marlene Owens Rankin, one of the three daughters who consigned the two medals, said the decision to sell them was tough but that the funds would be passed down to Owens’ five grandchildren.
“We are three elderly ladies, and when we are gone, how do you divide the Presidential Medal of Freedom into five pieces?” Rankin said while noting that selling them was the best way of “sharing with our children their grandfather’s legacy.”
Owens was 66 years old when he passed away on March 31 of 1980.