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Our Town with William Kelly: Ken Griffin to headline Civic Association luncheon

Ken Griffin, founder and chief executive officer of the Chicago-based Citadel hedge fund, will be the guest speaker at a Palm Beach Civic Association luncheon on Dec. 9 at the Four Seasons Resort.

Griffin’s topic will be: “Where we stand, the pandemic, the economy and the future.”

Established in 1990, Citadel manages more than $43 billion in capital for its partners and is one of the most successful investment firms in the world. Griffin is the primary owner.

Griffin is a passionate philanthropist who has supported multiple educational and cultural causes that drive community engagement and improvement.

He has given more than $1.3 billion to numerous organizations including the University of Chicago, the Ann & Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital, the Museum of Modern Art and the American Museum of Natural History.

An art aficionado, Griffin in 2018 donated $20 million to the Norton Museum of Art – the largest gift in the museum’s history – toward its renovation and expansion and to endow the museum director’s position.

Griffin donated $750,000 in support of the Friends of Recreation fundraising campaign for the Town of Palm Beach’s Morton and Barbara Mandel Recreation Center. His generosity is recognized at the children’s playground at the center.

Griffin’s luxury real estate holdings include roughly 20 acres in Palm Beach. Since 2012, he has assembled the largest ocean-to-lake estate on Billionaires Row.

His ties to South Florida run even deeper. Born in 1968 in Daytona Beach, Griffin grew up in Boca Raton and went to Boca Raton Community High School, where he was president of the math club.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and is a proud supporter of his alma mater. In 2014, he donated $150 million to support need-based financial aid at Harvard, the largest gift in school history at the time.

The Dec. 9 engagement is from 12 p.m. until 1:30 p.m. Attendance is by invitation to all Civic Association members at the Leading Benefactor level of $1,000.

The event is being sponsored by Cleveland Clinic.

Griffin was originally scheduled to speak at a Civic Association function in March of 2020 but that engagement was postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.