R. Crosby Kemper Jr.

Rufus Crosby Kemper Jr. (February 22, 1927 – January 2, 2014) was an American banker and philanthropist.

Rufus Crosby Kemper Jr.
Rufus Crosby Kemper Jr.
Photograph, circa 2013
Born(1927-02-22)February 22, 1927
DiedJanuary 2, 2014(2014-01-02) (aged 86)
OccupationRetired banking magnate
Years active50
EmployerUMB Financial Corporation
Home townKansas City, Missouri


Kemper was born into an influential banking and railroading family in Kansas City, Missouri. His father was R. Crosby Kemper. He attended Southwest High School in Kansas City, then transferred to Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts where he graduated in 1945. After returning from service in World War II, Mr. Kemper enrolled in the University of Missouri and became a member of the Zeta Phi chapter of Beta Theta Pi.[1]

In 1950, Kemper went to work for the United Missouri Bank, which later became UMB Financial Corporation. He later became president in 1959. He ran for the U.S. Senate in 1962 on the Republican ticket and in the same year chaired the Kansas City Industrial Committee. He was active in the running of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, which was named for him. He retired as chairman of UMB in 2004.

Kemper's college fraternity brother Sam Walton often referred to Mr. Kemper as his "personal banker."


Kemper died at age 86 on January 2, 2014, at Indian Wells, California. He had seven children with wifes Cynthia Warrick Kemper and Mary “Bebe” Stripp Kemper,, including Crosby Kemper III and Mariner Kemper.[2]

On June 18, 1965, Kemper and his wife Mary Kemper adopted son Sandy Kemper in Chicago Illinois. Kemper was a first cousin, twice removed, of actress Ellie Kemper.


  1. Pageviewer: Beta Theta Pi
  2. Davis, Mark (January 3, 2014). "R. Crosby Kemper Jr. dies in California". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
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