Updated at 11:43 a.m.
Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry will be getting a new name after receiving a $125 million gift from a local billionaire.
The popular institution on the city’s South Side will be renamed the Kenneth C. Griffin Museum of Science and Industry. Griffin’s donation is the single largest gift in the museum’s history.
“We are honored to receive this incredibly generous gift, which helps ensure that MSI remains a vital resource for science learning in the 21st century,” David Mosena, president and chief executive officer of MSI, said in a prepared statement released Thursday morning.
Griffin is the founder and CEO of Citadel, a Chicago-based hedge fund that manages over $32 billion in capital, according to its website.
He has a current estimated net worth of $12.5 billion, according to Forbes. He ranks 38th on the magazine’s list of the 400 wealthiest Americans.
Griffin’s donation moves the museum’s current capital campaign past $300 million in total funds raised, the MSI said. The campaign is raising money to create new exhibitions, fund education programs, make changes to its galleries and modernize its building at 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr. in the former Palace of Fine Arts from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.
Now that Griffin’s name will be on one of Chicago’s most popular cultural destinations, many visitors may wonder who he is. Here are some details:
He has a current estimated net worth of $12.5 billion, according to Forbes.
He ranks 38th on Forbes’ latest list of the 400 wealthiest Americans.
He ranks 117th on Forbes’ 2019 list of the richest people in the world.
He started trading investments from his Harvard University dorm room when he was a sophomore.
He’s given millions to other local cultural or educational institutions, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the University of Chicago.
He’s made mega-investments in real estate, according to Bloomberg, including $238 million for a penthouse in New York, $122 million for a 200-year-old mansion in London and $99.1 million for a beachfront house in Palm Beach, Florida.
He was involved in a contentious and public divorce that reached a settlement in 2015 and included paying his ex-wife $11.75 million to purchase her share of their North Michigan Avenue penthouse, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Mark LeBien is the digital news editor at WBEZ. Follow him on Twitter @marklebien.