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About John

You may have seen him on TV, heard him on the radio, read one of his many articles, or read about him in national and local newspapers and magazines. Click here for News.  Even as recently as February 2009, the hit TV show “Law & Order” broadcast an episode that was modeled in great part after the achievements of his career. John Reznikoff’s encyclopedic knowledge of rare and historic manuscripts, documents and relics, his unswerving passion for integrity, and his respect for and staunch desire to preserve our history for future generations draw the attention of curators, investors, collectors, foundations, and the press. Seeming to work around the clock, John defines multi-tasking. Headquartered in a sky-lit, historical building in prestigious Westport, Connecticut, John, wearing his wireless headset to free him to move about, conducts business with zeal unparalleled in the trade.

It’s no surprise that he carries this enthusiasm, because he trained with the Illuminati of autographs, the late Charles Hamilton.

His other mentors included the late Robert Batchelder and Robert Tollett. In fact, Tollett’s heirs selected Reznikoff to purchase the 7-figure estate. Another great influence in Reznikoff’s life was the late Robert A. Siegel, namesake of the philatelic firm which continues to be a leader in the field nearly 80 years after its inception. Siegel was a grandfatherly figure to Reznikoff, and helped him launch his full-time career at age 18.

The University Companies began in 1979, but it was more than 10 years before that time that Reznikoff first started as a collector. A child of 8, Reznikoff was given some stamps by his grandmother, who had years before escaped Nazi Germany. At age 13, his mother would ferry him back and forth to various trade shows and watch proudly as her son conducted business from one table to another. Reznikoff is one of the few people in the trade who can claim the Triple Crown of collectibles: 2 Honus Wagner baseball cards, 3 Inverted Jenny (C3A) stamps, and Declaration Signer Button Gwinnett, the rarest of American autographs. In his 30 years in business, he has bought and sold over $200 million in collectibles. Reznikoff has helped build some of the greatest collections in the history of autograph collecting, including for several individuals who are household names. On behalf of clients, he has built at least a dozen near-sets of Signers of the Declaration of Independence. He has supplied five William Henry Harrison documents as President. He has sold approximately 50 printings of the Declaration of Independence, including about 20 from the Peter Force printings of the Stone engraving. He has sold hundreds of letters and documents written by “The Big Three”, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln & Thomas Jefferson.

Reznikoff has been an innovator in the field of relics, and even holds a Guinness Book of Records entry for this field. Currently, University Archives owns two of John F. Kennedy’s cars, Ernest Hemingway’s typewriter, Annie Oakley’s gun, and Abraham Lincoln’s desk, amongst many others of the world’s greatest treasures.

Reznikoff has been a fearless crusader to identify and eliminate theft and forgery within the industry. He has worked with many law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, and has helped put several fraudsters in prison. John is a tireless supporter of many charities, both local and international. He has over the years worked very closely with Paul Newman’s “Hole in the Wall Gang” charity, which provides support to terminally ill children. John raises a large and busy family. He is an avid tri-athlete and martial artist. He has trained with the US Navy Seals as well as other widely-respected foreign military forces.
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