Henry W. Bloch

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Henry W. Bloch
Born Henry Wollman Bloch
(1922-07-30) July 30, 1922 (age 93)
Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Education Southwest High School
Alma mater  • University of Michigan
 • University of Missouri–Kansas City
Occupation Founder and businessman
Spouse(s) Marion Helzberg
Children Robert Bloch
Thomas Bloch
Mary Jo Bloch Brown
Elizabeth Bloch Uhlmann
Relatives Richard Bloch (brother)

Henry Wollman Bloch (born July 30, 1922)[1] is an American businessman and philanthropist. He is the co-founder and (since 2000)[1] the chairman emeritus of the American tax-preparation company H&R Block. Henry and his brother, Richard Bloch, founded H&R Block in 1955 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Early life and education[edit]

Bloch was born to a Jewish family[2] in Kansas City where he attended Southwest High School, and was an undergraduate at University of Missouri–Kansas City. He later attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, graduating in 1944.[1] Through the U.S. Army Air Corps he received graduate training at the Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts.


Bloch founded the H&R Block company with his brother Richard in 1955.[3]

Personal life and honors[edit]

In 1951, Bloch married Marion Helzberg; they had four children: Robert Bloch, Thomas Bloch, Mary Jo Bloch Brown, and Elizabeth Bloch Uhlmann[4] and lived in the Kansas City metropolitan area.[1]

The Henry Wollman Bloch Fountain[5] in front of Kansas City's Union Station is named in his honor, as is the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri–Kansas City[6] and the Bloch Building, a major addition to Kansas City's Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Bloch was inducted into the Junior Achievement's U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 2001.

Degas painting dispute[edit]

In 1993, Bloch bought Danseuse Faisant des Pointes (Dancer Making Pointes), by Edgar Degas. In 2005, the FBI informed him that the painting had been stolen and the original owner, Huguette Clark, wanted to recover it. Bloch would not return the painting and said it was abandoned property since it had been 13 or 14 years since the painting had been stolen.[7] Besides saying that it was abandoned property, it was part of a large impressionist collection that Bloch and his wife had promised to donate to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City after their deaths. Both sides negotiated for several years, with Clark finally donating the painting to the same museum and allowing Bloch to keep the painting in his house while he and his wife are alive.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Bloch biography". H&R Block. Archived from the original on May 31, 2012. 
  2. ^ "H&R Block". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 2014-03-10. 
  3. ^ Taner, Beccy (April 26, 2010). "H&R Block and founders Had Roots in Kansas City". The Wichita Eagle. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
  4. ^ Legacy: "Marion Helzberg Bloch" Published in Kansas City Star on Sept. 26, 2013
  5. ^ "City of Fountains – Find a Fountain". City of Fountains Foundation. Retrieved December 3, 2010. 
  6. ^ "About Us – Fast Facts". Henry W. Bloch School of Management, University of Missouri–Kansas City. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
  7. ^ Galante, Meridith (March 15, 2012). "The $10 million Degas ballerina, heiress Huguette Clark and the tax man". NBC News. Retrieved January 31, 2015.
  8. ^ Dedman, Bill (March 14, 2012). "The Strange Story Of How A $10 Million Painting Owned By Heiress Huguette Clark Wound Up On The Wall Of An Art Collector". Business Insider. Retrieved January 31, 2015.