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Ewing Marion Kauffman
September 21, 1916
|Died||August 1, 1993 (aged 76)|
|Alma mater|| • Westport High School|
• Longview Community College
|Occupation||American pharmaceutical entrepreneur, philanthropist, and Major League Baseball team owner|
Early life and education
Born on a farm near Garden City, Missouri, the son of John S. Kauffman and the former Effie May Winders, Kauffman grew up with his sister Irma Ruth Kauffman in Kansas City, Missouri. He was bedridden for a year at age 11 with a heart ailment, during which he read as many as 40 books a month.
After completing his Associate Degree, Kauffman enlisted in the United States Navy serving as a Sailor on a ship during World War II. After leaving the Navy, he worked as a pharmaceutical salesman until 1950, when he formed Marion Laboratories with a $5,000 investment, operating it initially out of the basement of his home. He reportedly chose to use his middle name rather than his last name in order to not appear to be a one-man operation.
Marion Laboratories – with Kauffman as chairman – had revenues of $930 million the year before it merged, in 1989, with Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals to form Marion Merrell Dow. The company sale made more than 300 millionaires. Following the merger, Kauffman became chairman emeritus of the merged company.
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Kauffman established the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in the mid-1960s with the same sense of opportunity he brought to his business endeavors, and, with the same convictions. Kauffman wanted his foundation to be innovative – to fundamentally change people's lives. He wanted to help young people, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, get a quality education that would enable them to reach their full potential. He saw building enterprise as one of the most effective ways to realize individual promise and spur the economy. Today, the mission of the Kauffman Foundation follows his vision by focusing its grant making and operations on two areas: advancing entrepreneurship and improving the education of children and youth.
Kansas City Royals
Ewing Kauffman established the Kansas City Royals, bringing major league baseball back to Kansas City. Shortly before Kauffman's death, he set up an unprecedented complex succession plan to keep the team in Kansas City.
On November 8, 2007, he was nominated to enter the Baseball Hall of Fame as part of the 2008 class; he was not elected. He was later nominated and elected to the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.
In 1988, Kauffman made a commitment to a group of high school students that if they would stay in school, stay off drugs, avoid teenage parenthood, commit to being good citizens and graduate on time, he would fund their post-secondary education. To be eligible for the program, parents also had to agree to be involved in their child's education by attending meetings and participating in parent/teacher organizations and other activities. Project Choice was offered to students at Kauffman's alma mater, Westport High School, and to selected students at five high schools in Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas.[clarification needed]
At a time when other cities were building cookie-cutter, multipurpose sports facilities Kauffman went against the trend to build a home for the team, Royals Stadium, that was decades ahead of its time. The stadium was the only baseball-only facility built in the major leagues between 1966 and 1991. Fans in one of the sport's smallest markets responded by filling the stadium, topping the two-million attendance mark a total of ten times and seven seasons in a row.
The stadium opened on April 10, 1973, as part of the Truman Sports Complex in Kansas City.
Designed by Kivett and Meyers architects in Kansas City, the stadium incorporated the best of the recently-built Dodger Stadium and Anaheim Stadium, with 40,793 seats, all facing second base and arranged in three tiers.
The stadium's prominent features include water fountains beyond the outfield fence and a ten-story-high scoreboard shaped like the Royals crest, topped by a gold crown. The 322-foot-wide (98-metre) water spectacular is the largest privately funded fountain in the world. The stadium featured an artificial-turf field, which was replaced in 1995 with grass.
Kauffman made his last public appearance at the stadium on May 23, 1993, when he was inducted into the Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame. One month before Kauffman died, the facility was officially renamed in his honor in a ceremony at the stadium on July 2, 1993; it is the only stadium in the American League named in honor of a person.
In 1962, he married the former Muriel Irene McBrien. He had two children from a previous marriage.
Suffering from bone cancer, he died, age 76, at his home in Mission Hills, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City. His remains are interred at the Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden next to his wife's remains, who died in 1995.
- Pace, Eric (August 12, 1993). "Ewing M. Kauffman, 76, Owner of Kansas City Baseball Team". The New York Times. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
- "Distinguished Eagle Scouts" (PDF format). Scouting.org. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
- Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
- The Philanthropy Roundtable, Ewing Kauffman
- "Executives, Managers, and Umpires to Be Considered for 2008" (Press release). National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. November 8, 2007. Archived from the original on November 15, 2007. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
- Barber, Hayden (June 13, 2018). "Royals' Kauffman, Paul Pierce, Larry Drew among Kansas Sports Hall of Fame inductees". Kansas City Star. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
- Thompson, Jadiann (April 28, 2015). "Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden says no more organized photos". KSHB TV 41. Retrieved August 6, 2016.