Mr. Kauffman, better known as "Mr. K," exemplifies the word entrepreneur.
In 1950, he founded Marion Laboratories, Inc., a pharmaceutical manufacturing firm in Kansas City. He led the company from gross sales of $36,000 and a net profit of $1,000 in its first year to become a diversified health care company that now exceeds $2.5 billion in annual sales. In 1989, Marion merged with Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals to form Marion Merrell Dow, Inc., where Mr. Kauffman serves as chairman emeritus. In addition, "Mr. K" is the sole owner of the Kansas City Royals Baseball Club.
Through the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, "Mr. K's" philanthropic efforts work within the context of human development. Special emphasis is placed on helping at-risk children and youth become productive members of society and in stimulating the growth of entrepreneurship in America. Ultimately, the Foundation seeks to offer people a choice and hope for their future.