R. Crosby Kemper

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Rufus Crosby Kemper Sr. (1892–1972) transformed City Center Bank into UMB Financial Corporation in Kansas City, Missouri, during his tenure from 1919 to 1967.

He contributed substantially to philanthropies in the Kansas City area and Kemper Arena is named for him.

Rufus Crosby Kemper was born in Valley Falls, Kansas.

His father William T. Kemper bought City Center Bank (which was founded in 1913) during World War I.

The senior Kemper first appointed Crosby's younger brother James M. Kemper (James Madison Kemper) president of the bank in 1919. James resigned a month later and went on to become president of rival Commerce Bancshares. Crosby became president of the bank, a position he held until 1959 when his son R. Crosby Kemper Jr. took over (who in turn was succeeded by his son Crosby III). Crosby Sr. stayed on as director until 1967.

The rivalry between the brothers and their descendants defines much of Missouri financial and philanthropic history.

Crosby also served as a regent at Rockhurst University, president of Interstate Securities and director of Kansas City Title & Trust Company.

James died at age 70 in 1965. Crosby died in 1972 at age 80.

Kemper was a great-great-uncle of actress Ellie Kemper.

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