Richard Kinder

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Richard Kinder
Born (1944-10-19) October 19, 1944 (age 77)
EducationUniversity of Missouri (BA, JD)
TitleExecutive chairman, Kinder Morgan
Spouse(s)Nancy Kinder
Kinder Morgan Building, Houston - 1001 Louisiana St, Houston, TX

Richard Kinder (born October 19, 1944)[2] is an American billionaire 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 .[5] After a number of acquisitions, the most prominent being El Paso Corporation, Kinder Morgan became the largest midstream energy company in North America.[10]

He is the 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 . 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.[11] Kinder is one of the seven self-made billionaires from Houston on the list, with a net worth of $11 billion.[12] In 2020, he was ranked No. 103 on the Forbes 400 list of the richest people in America.[5][13][14][15]

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, and he immediately married Nancy McNeil who was Ken Lay's assistant until Lay's death in 2006 and was a member of Rudy Giuliani's presidential committee from 2007-08.[7][16][17] 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 support and rename the Kinder Institute for Urban Research, formerly Rice's Institute for Urban Research.[18]

The foundation has funded projects that include the Bush Center at Southern Methodist University, the Texas Heart Institute and the Houston Food Bank.[19]

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.[20]

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 an endowed gift of $25 million to MU to provide permanent support for the renamed Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy.[21] 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.

In October 2016, the Kinder Foundation obtained perpetual naming rights to Houston’s High School For the Performing and Visual Arts for $7.5 million.[22][23] The contract was approved by the school board after the Kinder Foundation said it would withdraw the funds if the board did not vote,[24] six days after public announcement of the deal.[25] In April 2017, in response to a petition asking the Kinders to give the name back, Richard Kinder wrote to the Superintendent of Houston Independent School District. Citing negative controversy, he offered to release the naming rights but did not request or suggest that the original name be restored.[26] The issue is unresolved. The name change will be effective when the new downtown school building is occupied,[23] expected in January 2019.

Political activities[]

In 2015, Kinder and his wife Nancy donated $2 million to a Super PAC supporting Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush.[27]


  1. ^ "Forbes profile: Richard Kinder". Forbes. Retrieved 2 December 2020.
  2. ^ "Free Birthday Database". Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Kinder Morgan Management". Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "Executive Compensation & Stock Trading - Businessweek". Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Gilbert, Daniel (October 18, 2011). "Richard Kinder: New Energy Patch King - WSJ". Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Richard Kinder: The Luckiest Ex-Enron Employee - Deal Journal - WSJ". October 17, 2011. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Richard D. Kinder". March 6, 2003. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  8. ^ a b c "Richard Kinder". Forbes. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  9. ^ "Enron Corporation - Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on Enron Corporation". Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  10. ^ "The Business Journal interview with Rich Kinder, founder, chairman and CEO of Kinder Morgan". Retrieved 2021-03-12.
  11. ^ Pulsinelli, Olivia. "13 Houstonians make Forbes' list of richest Americans — and half are self-made billionaires". Houston Business Journal. Retrieved October 10, 2014.
  12. ^ Kroll, Luisa; Dolan, Kerry A. "Inside The 2014 Forbes 400: Facts And Figures About America's Wealthiest". Forbes. Retrieved October 10, 2014.
  13. ^ E (January 1, 1970). "The Richest People in America". Forbes. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  14. ^ "Rich Kinder is Houston's richest person, Forbes says". Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  15. ^ "The Forbes 400 2020: The Richest People in America". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-12-02.
  16. ^ "Nancy G. Kinder". Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  17. ^ "Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee Organization". New York City: Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  18. ^ "Rice announces the Kinder Institute for Urban Research". Rice University. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
  19. ^ "Major Gifts". Kinder Foundation. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
  20. ^ Pugh, Clifford. "Green for greenspace: Rich and Nancy Kinder donate $50 million to ambitious bayou parks plan". Culture Map Houston. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
  21. ^ "University of Missouri campaign seeks $1.3 billion | The Kansas City Star". October 8, 2015. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  22. ^ Downing, Margaret (2016-10-14). "Trustees Vote to Rename HSPVA and Jones Says HISD "Is Like a Pimp"". Houston Press. Retrieved 2017-09-26.
  23. ^ a b "Kinder-HSPVA-HISD Executed Agreement 10-13-16". Scribd. Retrieved 2017-09-26.
  24. ^ Mellon, Ericka (2016-10-13). "Fate of arts high school renaming proposal uncertain". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-09-26.
  25. ^ Pulsinelli, Olivia (2016-10-14). "HISD approves Kinder gift, name change". Retrieved 2017-09-26.
  26. ^ Downing, Margaret (2017-04-27). "The HSPVA Fight Continues Even After Rich Kinder Offers to Take Back His Name". Houston Press. Retrieved 2017-09-26.
  27. ^ "Million-Dollar Donors in the 2016 Presidential Race". New York Times. August 25, 2015. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
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