The son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett recently purchased hundreds of items that belonged to the late, great Rosa Parks.
According to a lawyer who was on site for the sale, Howard G. Buffett managed to procure artifacts that belonged to the Civil Rights icon for $4.5 million. Buffett, himself, confirmed the purchase last Thursday but declined to disclose details. Lawrence Pepper, the lawyer representing Parks’ heirs, defined the price point with the Associated Press.
Out of the $4.5 million, 12.5 percent of it went to the auction house that managed to place the items on the block for sale. Pepper says that 20 percent of the balance will go to Parks’ relatives and the rest will go to the Rosa & Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development in Detroit, Michigan. Parks became a pioneer and a revered figure during the Civil Rights movement when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955.
Amongst the items purchased were Parks’ Presidential Medal of Freedom, a postcard signed by Martin Luther King Jr., letters from presidents, several personal papers, various awards and honorary doctorates. “For lack of a better term, she was a pack rat,” said Arlan Ettinger, president of Guernsey’s auction house in New York, which housed most of Parks’ belongings. “She had retained many things from her long and rich life.”