Ewing Kauffman

Ewing Kauffman
Born Ewing Marion Kauffman
(1916-09-21)September 21, 1916[1]
Near Garden City, Missouri, United States[1]
Died August 1, 1993(1993-08-01) (aged 76)[1]
Mission Hills, Kansas, United States[1]
Cause of death Bone cancer[1]
Alma mater   Westport High School[1]
  Longview Community College[1]
Occupation American pharmaceutical entrepreneur, philanthropist, and Major League Baseball team owner

Ewing Marion Kauffman (September 21, 1916  August 1, 1993) was an American pharmaceutical entrepreneur, philanthropist, and Major League Baseball 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,[1] 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.

Kauffman graduated from Kansas City's Westport High School in 1934, and later attended Kansas City Junior College,[1] a predecessor to Metropolitan Community College.

He was an Eagle Scout and as an adult would be awarded the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.[2]


After serving in the United States Navy in World War II, Kauffman 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.[1] The company sale made more than 300 millionaires. Following the merger, Kauffman became chairman emeritus of the merged company.[1]

Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Kauffman established the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation[3] 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.[4]

Kansas City Royals

Kauffman with Royals general manager Cedric Tallis, 1968

Ewing Kauffman established the Kansas City Royals, bringing major league baseball back to Kansas City. After efforts to bring partners into the Royals ownership group failed, Kauffman dictated that the new owner would keep the Royals in Kansas City, sell the team for a fair price, and have proceeds from the sale go to local charities.

On November 8, 2007, he was nominated to enter the Baseball Hall of Fame as part of the 2008 class;[5] he was not elected.

Project Choice

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.

Kauffman Stadium

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 sole baseball-only facility built in the major leagues between 1962 and 1991. Fans in one of the sport's smallest markets responded by filling the stadium, topping the magic 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 Harry S Truman Sports Complex in Kansas City.

Designed by Kivett and Meyers architects in Kansas City, the stadium incorporated the best of Dodger Stadium, in Los Angeles; and Angel Stadium of Anaheim, in Anaheim, California, with 40,793 seats, all facing second base and arranged in three tiers.

A construction strike delayed the opening of the stadium so Kauffman added money to make sure it would open in time for the 1973 baseball season and the 1973 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

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.

Personal life

In 1962, he married the former Muriel Irene McBrien.[1] 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.[1] His remains are interred at the Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden next to his wife's remains, who died in 1995.[6]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Pace, Eric (August 12, 1993). "Ewing M. Kauffman, 76, Owner of Kansas City Baseball Team". The New York Times. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  2. "Distinguished Eagle Scouts" (PDF format). Scouting.org. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
  3. Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
  4. The Philanthropy Roundtable, Ewing Kauffman
  5. "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.
  6. Thompson, Jadiann (April 28, 2015). "Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden says no more organized photos". KSHB TV 41. Retrieved August 6, 2016.

External links

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