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

Ewing Kauffman
Ewing Kauffman 1968.jpg
Ewing Marion Kauffman

(1916-09-21)September 21, 1916[1]
Near Garden City, Missouri, United States[1]
DiedAugust 1, 1993(1993-08-01) (aged 76)[1]
Alma mater • Westport High School[1]
 • Longview Community College[1]
OccupationAmerican pharmaceutical entrepreneur, philanthropist, and Major League Baseball team owner


Early life and educationEdit

Ewing Kauffmann was born on September 21, 1916 on a farm near Garden City, Missouri. He was the son of John S. Kauffman and Effie May Winders,[1] When Ewing Kauffman was a child, John S. Kauffman suffered a farming accident which left him blind in his right eye.[2] Following the accident, John S. Kauffman relocated his family to Kansas City, where he worked as life insurance salesman.[3]

As a child, Kauffman loved reading. When he was 11, Kaufmman had to leave school for a year due to a heart valve that would not close completely.[3] During this year, Kauffman taught himself how to speed read. It was not uncommon for Kauffman to read one-two books a day. [4] In later years, Kauffman believes his success in the pharmaceutical business stemmed from his ability to read quickly. In 1928, when Kauffman was 12, his parents divorced. Kauffman lived with his mother, but his father remained active in his life. On days were Kauffman spent the day with his father, it was not uncommon for the two of them to compete in arithmetic competitions. The most common game the two played was adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing the numbers on license plates.[5]

Kauffman was an active youth. He participated in various sports. He did very well in school. He was also an Eagle Scout. As an adult, he was awarded the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.[6]

Kauffman graduated from Kansas City's Westport High School in 1934 and later attended Kansas City Junior College,[1] He received his Associates in Business Management.



In 1942, Kauffman joined the military and served in the Navy. Kauffman was a signalman.[2] He served in both Europe and the Philippines. [3] When Kauffman left the military in 1945, he returned to Kansas City.

Lincoln LaboratoriesEdit

In 1947, Kauffman became a salesman for Lincoln Laboratories- a pharmaceutical company based in Decatur, Illinois[7]. Kauffman did not receive a salary. His income was solely based on his sales. Of these sales, Kauffman would only get 20% of his commissions. While only getting 20% of his commissions, Kauffman eventually made more than the president of the company. Kauffman became angry with the company and left in 1950 after the company decreased his sales territory and cut his commission.[3]

Marion LaboratoriesEdit

After leaving Lincoln Laboratories, Kauffman formed Marion Laboratories with a $5,000 investment. The company was originally run out of his house, and there were four employees- Kauffman and his close friends.[8] 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 FoundationEdit

Kauffman established the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation[9] 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.[10]

Kansas City RoyalsEdit

Kauffman with Royals general manager Cedric Tallis, 1968

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;[11] he was not elected. He was later nominated and elected to the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.[12]

Project ChoiceEdit

In 1988, Kauffman launched Project Choice to the Westport High School Class of 1992. Project Choice promised to fund post-secondary education to all students who stayed in school, did not use drugs, did not become pregnant, and were committed to being an upstanding citizen in the community.[13] 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. The program remained active until 2001. During those years, it expanded to five other high schools in the Kansas City metro area.[14]

Kauffman StadiumEdit

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.

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 lifeEdit

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.[15]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Pace, Eric (August 12, 1993). "Ewing M. Kauffman, 76, Owner of Kansas City Baseball Team". The New York Times. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Ewing |1916-1945". Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d Skodack, Charles R. T. Crumpleydebra (August 2, 1993). "Ewing M. Kauffman 1916-1993 Visionary 'Mr. K" is dead Business sucess with Marion led to Royals baseball team and philianthropy". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  4. ^ "Ewing". Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  5. ^ "Ewing". Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  6. ^ "Distinguished Eagle Scouts" (PDF format). Retrieved November 4, 2010.
  7. ^ "Marion". Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  8. ^ "Marion". Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  9. ^ Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
  10. ^ The Philanthropy Roundtable, Ewing Kauffman
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ "Kauffman". Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  14. ^ "Kauffman". Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  15. ^ Thompson, Jadiann (April 28, 2015). "Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden says no more organized photos". KSHB TV 41. Retrieved August 6, 2016.

External linksEdit