Genghis On My Mind
He plundered half the known world and then disappeared back into Mongolia without a trace, leaving only tales about a lost tomb filled with clues to his legendary--and mystifying--reign. Seven centuries later, a Khan-besotted Maury Kravitz thinks he can find it.
By Michael McRae
Maury kravitz stuffs his prodigious girth behind the wheel of his sleek, black, limited-edition BMW 750il and fires up its V-12 engine. The $80,000 car purrs out of the parking garage beneath Chicago's Mercantile Exchange and into rush-hour traffic.
It's a mild winter evening, and we're headed up to the Gold Coast, to Gibson's Steak House, for some serious eating and dreaming. On tonight's menu, apart from a couple of slabs of corn-fed beef, is a conversation about Kravitz's consuming passion and what he hopes will be his ultimate destiny: to become The Man Who Found the Tomb of Genghis Khan--and perhaps the greatest treasure the world has ever known, a pile of loot that, as he puts it, "would eat the Tut exhibit for breakfast."
Wherever Kravitz goes in Chicago, people hail the man whose license plates say temujin, the Khan's given name. (Kravitz's sailboat, a 38-foot Hans Christian, bears the same name, which translates loosely as "one who forges iron" or "man of iron.") Tonight is no exception. As we ease into traffic, a spotless green Jaguar with vanity plates reading mr. hill pulls alongside. The driver taps his horn and lowers the passenger window. "Packed your bags yet?" he yells.
Kravitz smiles and waves. "My mind," he shouts back in his gravelly voice, "is already in Mongolia."