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Ewing Marion Kauffman

The story of Ewing Marion Kauffman

A common man with an uncommon legacy.

Each year, around the anniversary of our founder’s birth, we take time to reflect on his continuing legacy. The story of Ewing Kauffman’s life and times can be told in chapters marked by modest beginnings, the creation and growth of Marion Laboratories, and the establishment of the Kansas City Royals baseball team. Above all, it is the story of social awareness that was grounded in his belief in people and guided a new style of philanthropy that sought to invest in uncommon approaches to address the root causes of complex social problems.

We recall the chapters of Ewing Marion Kauffman’s story to inspire others to write an uncommon legacy of their own.

Ewing Kauffman was born September 21, 1916. After the family farm suffered a series of setbacks, the Kauffmans moved to Kansas City. He was a good student whose life was filled with books and the Boy Scouts. From his early years to his service in the military, he never stopped learning and wasn’t afraid to take a risk. To his family and friends in the neighborhood, he was Ewing.

Before there were statues and stadiums, there was a startup in a basement. Ewing Kauffman set out on his entrepreneurial journey when he was 33 years old, and he never looked back. He was a quick study with an outgoing personality and a mischievous sense of humor. He worked hard and held to his principles. With a fiercely loyal and incredibly productive team of associates, he built the company, culture, and spirit of Marion.

Throughout his life, Mr. Kauffman took an unconventional approach. He stepped up to the plate to bring baseball back to Kansas City and when others wouldn’t give kids a chance, Mr. K gave them a choice. He launched his philanthropic foundation devoted to finding uncommon solutions to society’s challenges. His commitment to giving back gave us all the lasting legacy of Kauffman.

Learn more about Mr. Kauffman’s life and uncommon legacy at


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