Jesse Owens in 1936

A 1936 Olympics gold medal won by Jesse Owens sold for $1,466,574 early Sunday morning, the highest price ever paid for a piece of Olympics memorabilia, ESPN reports.

Owens won the gold medal at the games in Berlin and later gifted it to his good friend, entertainer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, who died in 1949. The estate of Robinson's wife, Elaine Plaines-Robinson, consigned the medal to SCP Auctions.


The final price shattered the previous record of $865,000 for a silver cup won by the winner of the first modern-day Olympic marathon in 1896.

SCP Auctions told ESPN that Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle won the medal. Burkle also owns William Faulkner's Nobel Prize for literature, and the auction house told ESPN that Burkle has plans for an educational tour of the historic pieces.


With Adolf Hitler looking on as host of the 1936 Games, Owens, who was 23 at the time, won four gold medals, ESPN reports.

"We are honored to handle what we consider to be among the most inspiring sports artifacts ever offered at auction," SCP President David Kohler told ESPN. "Worldwide attention garnered by the auction of Jesse Owens 1936 gold medal and the extraordinary auction result proves that Owens' triumphant legacy continues to endure."

Read more at ESPN.