Houston, TX

Richest person in Houston is giving 95% of his wealth away

Ash Jurberg

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What would you do if you were the richest person in Houston?

Perhaps you would go on a spending spree- buying luxury cars and huge mansions. Maybe you would try to buy the Houston Rockets and get them back to the NBA finals.

Well, if you are Richard Kinder, you promise to give 95% of your wealth away.

Let's take a look at his story

The richest person in Houston

The richest Houston resident is Richard Kinder, who has a net worth of $7.7 billion.

Kinder was the president of energy giant Enron before he stepped down in 1997 to start his own business- Kinder Morgan.

Kinder Morgan is now the largest energy infrastructure firm in the United States and has over 84,000 miles of pipelines that transport natural gas, refined petroleum products CO2, and crude oil.

Kinder Morgan has been named one of Fortune magazine’s Most Admired Companies in America and has also been recognized as the top company among all industries for “Quality of Management.”

He stepped down as the Chairman of his company in 2015 and now receives a salary of $1 a year. Despite his token salary, he is still the major shareholder in the company and has a multi-billion dollar net worth.

That he wants to give away.

Philanthropy

In 1997, Kinder set up the Kinder Foundation to "enrich the lives of people in the Greater Houston area through transformational grants that impact urban green space, education, and quality of life." The foundation is primarily focused on supporting organizations in the Greater Houston Community.

As longtime residents of [Houston], we have witnessed its extraordinary culture of entrepreneurship, which has enabled Houstonians of all backgrounds to improve their lives, use their talents and creativity, and pursue their dreams. In Houston, you are what you achieve. This stirs and motivates us to continue giving.”

The Kinder Foundation has given $452.7 million in gifts, but Richard and his wife Nancy will give away a lot more.

The couple has signed the Giving Pledge and has committed to giving 95% of our wealth to charitable causes.

Nancy and I grew up in small towns and firmly believe in the opportunity for entrepreneurship in America and especially in Houston and we believe in giving back to society the bulk of the good fortune we have received. Our goal in joining the Giving Pledge is to encourage those in similar positions to do the same.

Readers, what do you think of the pledge made by Richard and Nancy Kinder? And what organizations in Houston would you like to see them support?

Please leave your comments below.

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