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Ewing Kauffman: Wikis


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

Born near Garden City, Missouri, Kauffman grew up 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 was an Eagle Scout and as an adult was awarded the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.[1]

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 had revenues of $930 million the year before it merged with Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals (now part of Aventis) in 1989. The company sale made more than 300 millionaires.


Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Ewing Kauffman established the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation[2] 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 dig deep and get at the roots of issues 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 Ewing Kauffman’s vision by focusing its grant making and operations on two areas: advancing entrepreneurship and improving the education of children and youth.

Kansas City Royals

Ewing Kauffman came to baseball ownership reluctantly. With his wife Muriel Kauffman's support and encouragement, he stepped up to the plate when he was convinced that the team would bring economic muscle to Kansas City. Once he committed to the idea, he poured the same energy, resources, and innovative thinking that made him a successful businessman into the team. instinct for innovation built a model sports franchise, a modern stadium, and a championship-caliber team.

Kauffman established the Kansas City Royals, bringing major league baseball back to Kansas City. He hired mavericks and encouraged them to bring new thinking to transform the hidebound culture of the baseball establishment. Following their owner's unconventional path, the Royals built a model baseball franchise, developing talented young players into major league stars. Ewing Kauffman's Royals were perennial playoff contenders, winning six division championships, two American League pennants and a world championship in 1985.

After efforts to bring partners into the Royals ownership group failed, Kauffman developed innovative measures to ensure the continued presence of the Royals in Kansas City. His intricate will 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.[3] He was not elected.

Project Choice

In 1988, Ewing Marion 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 Mr. Kauffman's alma mater, Westport High School in Kansas City, Mo., and to selected students at five high schools in Kansas City, Kansas.

Kauffman Stadium

At a time when other cities were building cookie-cutter, multipurpose sports facilities Ewing Kauffman went against the trend to build Royals Stadium, a home for the team that was decades ahead of its time. 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.

Opened as Royals Stadium on April 10, 1973 as part of the Harry Truman Sports Complex in Kansas City, the stadium is recognized throughout baseball as one of the game's most beautiful ballparks. Designed by Kivett and Meyers architects in Kansas City, the Royals' home incorporated the best of Dodger Stadium and Angel Stadium, with 40,793 seats, all facing second base and arranged in three tiers. The stadium's prominent features include water fountains beyond the outfield fence and a 10-story high scoreboard shaped like the Royals crest, topped by a gold crown. The 322-foot wide water spectacular is the largest privately funded fountain in the world. The stadium featured an artificial turf field but was replaced in 1995 with grass.

Ewing Kauffman made his last public appearance at the stadium on May 23, 1993, when he was inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame. The facility was officially renamed in honor of Ewing M. Kauffman in a ceremony at the stadium on July 2, 1993.

In 2007 the Royals announced that Kauffman Stadium would be extensively renovated by Opening Day 2009. This includes a high definition scoreboard, fountain view terraces, widened concourses on all three levels and an outfield concourse that will allow fans to walk 360 degrees around the stadium.

Kauffman Stadium Trivia

  • Kauffman Stadium is the only stadium in the American League named in honor of a person.
  • Kauffman Stadium was the sole baseball-only facility built in the majors between 1962 and 1991.
  • Academy Award Winning Actor Chris Cooper, who grew up in Kansas City, attended the University of Missouri, and narrated the documentary of Ewing Kauffman's life story, was on the construction crew that built Kauffman Stadium.
  • Fountains beyond the outfield fence are on display before and after the game and in-between innings, while the waterfalls are constantly flowing.
  • A construction strike delayed the opening of the Stadium and Kauffman added money to make sure it would open in time for the 1973 season and the 1973 All Star game.
  • Kauffman Stadium is the sixth oldest stadium in Major League Baseball.


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