Richard Kinder

Richard Kinder
Born (1944-10-19) October 19, 1944
Cape Girardeau, Missouri, US
Residence Houston, Texas, US
Nationality American
Alma mater University of Missouri
Occupation Executive chairman, Kinder Morgan
Net worth DecreaseUS$5.5 billion (November 2015)[1]
Children 1

Richard Kinder (born October 19, 1944)[2] is an American businessman. He is the co-founder and executive chairman of Kinder Morgan Inc., an energy and pipeline corporation.[3][4][5][6][7]

Early life

Richard Kinder was born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri in 1944.[7] He received a BA in 1966 and a JD in 1968, both from the University of Missouri.[3][4][7][8] In college, he was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity.[7]


He began his career in the energy business as an attorney with Florida Gas Transmission,[5] which eventually became Enron Corporation, after a series of mergers[9] He had been friends with its founder, Kenneth Lay, in college.[5] From 1990 to December 1996, he served as its President and COO.[4] He resigned from Enron in 1996 to start a new pipeline company with college friend William V. Morgan.[5][6] They purchased Enron Liquids Pipeline for $40 million.[5] They also merged with KN Energy.[5] After a number of acquisitions, most prominently El Paso Corporation, Kinder Morgan became the largest midstream energy company in North America.

He is a chairman of the board of trustees of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and serves as chairman of the Kinder Foundation. He previously served as a member of the board of Baker Hughes, Transocean and Waste Management, as a national board member of the Smithsonian Institution and is a past chairman of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America. A Republican, he campaigned for Bush-Quayle in 1992, for Bush-Cheney in 2004, for John McCain in 2008, and for Kay Bailey Hutchison and Tom DeLay.

In 2014, Kinder was listed on Forbes Richest People in the US.[10] Kinder is one of the seven self-made billionaires from Houston on the list, with a net worth of $11 billion.[11] As such, he is the 41st richest American citizen.[5][12][13]

Personal life

He is twice married, with one child from his first marriage.[8] His divorce was in 1996, the same year he left Enron.[7] He lives in Houston, Texas.[8]

Kinder Foundation

The Kinders founded the Kinder Foundation in an effort to support education and the Greater Houston area by promoting preservation and accessibility to parks and green space. Through the foundation, the Kinders donated $15 million to Rice University in 2010 to establish the Kinder Institute for Urban Research.[14]

The foundation has funded projects that include the Bush Center at Southern Methodist University, the Texas Heart Institute and the Houston Food Bank.[15]

In October 2013, it was announced that the foundation would give $50 million to the Houston Parks Board for the Bayou Greenways 2020 Project, which connects greenspaces along Houston's bayous and creates parkland.[16]

In 2014, the Kinder Foundation made possible the Kinder Forum on Constitutional Democracy at the University of Missouri, a new program to support excellence in the teaching and study of American constitutional and democratic traditions. In 2015, the foundation made a new, endowed gift of $25 million to MU to provide permanent support for the renamed Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy.[17] Also, The Kinder Foundation committed a principal gift of $50 million to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston for the redevelopment of its 14-acre campus which was unveiled in January 2015.

Political activities

In 2015, Kinder and his wife, Nancy, donated $2 million to a Super PAC supporting Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush.[18]


  1. "Richard Kinder". Forbes. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  2. "Free Birthday Database". Retrieved 2015-11-07.
  3. 1 2 "Kinder Morgan Management". Retrieved 2015-11-07.
  4. 1 2 3 "Executive Compensation & Stock Trading - Businessweek". Retrieved 2015-11-07.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Gilbert, Daniel (2011-10-18). "Richard Kinder: New Energy Patch King - WSJ". Retrieved 2015-11-07.
  6. 1 2 "Richard Kinder: The Luckiest Ex-Enron Employee - Deal Journal - WSJ". 2011-10-17. Retrieved 2015-11-07.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 "Richard D. Kinder". 2003-03-06. Retrieved 2015-11-07.
  8. 1 2 3 "Richard Kinder". Forbes. Retrieved 2015-11-07.
  9. "Enron Corporation - Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on Enron Corporation". Retrieved 2015-11-07.
  10. Pulsinelli, Olivia. "13 Houstonians make Forbes' list of richest Americans — and half are self-made billionaires". Houston Business Journal. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  11. Kroll, Luisa; Dolan, Kerry A. "Inside The 2014 Forbes 400: Facts And Figures About America's Wealthiest". Forbes. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  12. E (1970-01-01). "The Richest People in America". Forbes. Retrieved 2015-11-07.
  13. "Rich Kinder is Houston's richest person, Forbes says". Retrieved 2015-11-07.
  14. "Rice announces the Kinder Institute for Urban Research". Rice University. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  15. "Major Gifts". Kinder Foundation. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  16. Pugh, Clifford. "Green for greenspace: Rich and Nancy Kinder donate $50 million to ambitious bayou parks plan". Culture Map Houston. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  17. "University of Missouri campaign seeks $1.3 billion | The Kansas City Star". 2015-10-08. Retrieved 2015-11-07.
  18. "Million-Dollar Donors in the 2016 Presidential Race". New York Times. 25 August 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
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