Power Players

Warren Buffett's portrait, complete with his autograph, just sold for over $75,000 at a charity auction

Warren Buffett
Gerald Miller | CNBC

When Warren Buffett writes his name on something, it becomes instantly valuable — to the tune of $75,100.

That's how much an anonymous eBay user bid on Tuesday to win a unique piece of artwork: a 26-inch autographed print of Buffett overlaid with motivational quotes from the billionaire, including "Women make me optimistic about America."

All proceeds from the sale will go directly to Girls Inc. of Omaha, Buffett's hometown chapter of the national nonprofit that provides mentorship and support for girls and young women from low-income communities across the country.

Source: Motiva

The charity art auction was organized by Motiva, an Israel-based art tech company that created the piece on Buffett's behalf. The quote in question comes from a 2018 interview Buffett did with Yahoo Finance, in which he discussed the #MeToo movement and the benefits of employers hiring and promoting more women.

"I think of doubling the talent that is effectively employed, or at least has the chance to be, [and] it makes me very optimistic about this country," Buffett said at the time.

Buffett is no stranger to charity auctions. In June, an anonymous bidder paid $19 million for the opportunity to have lunch with the billionaire at a future date. It was the 21st and final time Buffett auctioned off a private lunch to benefit the San Francisco-based nonprofit Glide — and it marked the most anyone has ever paid for the privilege of dining with Buffett.

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Buffett has auctioned off two of his cars to benefit Girls Inc. in the past. In 2007, he auctioned off a Lincoln Town Car on eBay to raise $73,200 for the nonprofit. He raised another $122,500 for the group with a 2015 auction of his Cadillac.

The billionaire is a longtime supporter of the nonprofit, formerly known as the Girls Club of America. In 2018, he donated $2.2 million to the charity — an amount he won in a public wager that the S&P 500 would outperform hedge funds over a decade, ending in 2017.

Motiva's auction ended on Buffett's 92nd birthday. In a Twitter post, the art company wished the billionaire a happy birthday, calling him "one of the greatest investors and most generous philanthropist[s]."

Buffett currently boasts an estimated net worth of $99.4 billion, according to Bloomberg. The nonagenarian billionaire has pledged to give away 99% of his fortune by the end of his life. He's already donated roughly $45.5 billion in Berkshire shares to various charities dating back to 2006.

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