The File on Citadel’s Ken Griffin

He’s the billionaire founder of the Chicago-based hedge fund Citadel. He’s also a philanthropist, a political player, a benefactor of the arts—and a person with a penchant for privacy. So who exactly is Kenneth Cordele Griffin? We scoured public documents, financial records, and other sources to come up with the answer

(page 7 of 12)


Griffin’s philanthropy has centered on the arts, children, and education. Some of his charitable contributions are distributed by the Citadel Group Foundation (CGF), a private foundation. Griffin serves as CGF’s president and biggest donor—in 2007, for example, he gave 98.5 percent of the funds the foundation received. He and Anne also started the Kenneth and Anne Griffin Foundation in October 2009. Here is a partial list of their contributions (because public access to charities’ tax documents lags behind their activity by more than a year, donations from the foundations in 2009 and 2010 may be missing from this list):

$19 MILLION to the Art Institute in 2006 for the Modern Wing; the main hallway and atrium off the Millennium Park entrance are now the Kenneth and Anne Griffin Court

$996,440 in total from CGF to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009)

$675,000 in January 2007 to a program at the Chicago Public Education Fund designed to prepare teachers and principals for public schools

$500,000 and the loan of the Jasper Johns painting False Start to a 2007–08 Art Institute exhibit called Jasper Johns: Gray

$240,000 in total from CGF to the Latin School of Chicago (2005, 2007)

$10 MILLION from the couple’s foundation in October 2009 for the Griffin Early Childhood Center in Chicago Heights, an experimental school headed by the University of Chicago economist John List that opened in September 2010; some children attend free preschool while the parents of other students attend courses at the Parent Academy

$480,171 in total from CGF to Absolute Return for Kids, a London-based charity promoting child health, education, and protection (2002, 2004, 2005)

$675,000 in total from CGF to Paul Tudor Jones’s Robin Hood Foundation (2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006)

$566,200 in total from CGF to the Chicago Public Library Foundation (1999–2010)

$16 MILLION from the couple’s foundation to Children’s Memorial Hospital in January 2010 for an emergency care center in the new building under construction in Streeterville

$2.25 MILLION in 2005 to Woodlawn Secondary School, a charter school operated by the University of Chicago

Between $500,000 and $1 MILLION to Chicago 2016, the nonprofit that ran Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics

$403,200 in total from CGF to the Museum of Science and Industry (2006–09)




Comments are moderated. We review them in an effort to remove offensive language, commercial messages, and irrelevancies.

Submit your comment