R. Crosby Kemper

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

Early life[edit]

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.

William first appointed Crosby's younger brother James M. Kemper president of the bank in 1919. However, James resigned a month later and went on to become president of rival Commerce Bancshares. Rufus 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). William remained a director until 1967.


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

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.

Later life[edit]

Crosby died in 1972 at age 80.

Kemper is a great-grand-uncle of actress Ellie Kemper (born 1980).

External links[edit]