Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#255 Richard Kinder $6.50B

Random fact: While CEO took $1 salary and received no bonuses or stock options.


Kinder is the executive chairman and largest shareholder of Kinder Morgan, a publicly traded energy storage and pipeline company. It operates 155 terminals and 84,000 miles of pipeline that transport natural gas, crude oil, ethanol and other petroleum products. He served as chief executive officer from its founding in 1997 until 2015.

As of April 23, 2018:
Last change -$17.2M (-0.3%)
YTD change -$368M (-5.4%)
Industry Energy
Biggest asset KMI US Equity
Citizenship United States
Age 73
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Richard Kinder's net worth of $6.50B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

of the GDP of the United States
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
of U.S. existing home sales
times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Kinder's fortune comes from an 11 percent stake in Kinder Morgan, a publicly traded pipeline and energy storage company he co-founded in 1997. He owns almost 246 million shares in his own name, his wife's name and through a limited partnership he controls, according to the company's 2017 proxy statement and a May 30, 2017 Form 4 filing. Kinder Morgan operates 155 terminals and 84,000 miles of pipeline, according to its website.

Kinder also owns 408,163 depositary shares that are convertible into common equity at a rate of one share of common stock for every 20 depositary shares until their mandatory conversion date of Oct. 26, 2018. At that time, each depositary share will convert to common stock at a rate of 1.544 to 1.8142 common share per each depository share, the exact amount depending on Kinder Morgan's share price on that date, according to the Oct. 28, 2015 prospectus supplement filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission. Before that mandatory conversion date, the depositary shares receive a quarterly dividend of 2.4375 cents per share.

The billionaire has collected more than $1.5 billion worth of dividends from Kinder Morgan through December 2017, based on company filings and an analysis of Bloomberg data. 

He also has diversified investments consisting of dividend-bearing stocks that were valued at about $1 billion in mid-2013, according to Larry Pierce, a spokesman for the billionaire. Dividends, share sales, cash from the consolidation of the Kinder Morgan companies in November 2014 and market performance since that date are added to his net worth, after adjusting for taxes.


Birthdate: 10/19/1944
Family: Married, 1 child
Education: 1968, University of Missouri School of Law, JD

Raised in a small town on the bank of the Mississippi River, the Missouri native befriended the two men who would influence his business career while at the University of Missouri: Kenneth Lay and William Morgan. With Lay, he would help build Enron into a leading energy company in the 1990s. The decision to start unloading physical assets made Kinder uneasy, leading him to leave the company in 1996. With Morgan, he bought some of the assets Enron was selling, forming the basis of Kinder Morgan, a collection of four publicly traded companies that is now the largest pipeline owner and operator in the U.S.

After receiving his law degree at Missouri, Kinder served as a military attorney. He then took a job as a lawyer at a Missouri law firm run by talk show host Rush Limbaugh's father. He started investing in local real estate in the 1970s, until a multi-million-dollar note he guaranteed on a Howard Johnson's motel was called, forcing Kinder into personal bankruptcy. He later repaid the note in full. Morgan helped Kinder get a job in the energy industry as an attorney for Florida Gas. By 1984, Lay's company acquired Florida Gas, uniting the two to create Enron.

After leaving Enron, Kinder focused on acquiring assets -- such as pipelines and storage terminals -- rather than engaging in the energy trading on which Enron's business was built. He later exercised an option to buy out a portion of Morgan's stake, and is now the largest shareholder of Kinder Morgan.

Since creating Kinder Morgan in 1997, the company has increased distributions to shareholders at a 40 percent compounded annual growth rate. Kinder consolidated the four publicly traded entities that are controlled by Kinder Morgan into one company in 2014. From 2011 through early 2015, the business spent $73 billion on acquisitions, including $38 billion for El Paso LLC, a pipeline system.

  • 1944 Richard Kinder is born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
  • 1968 Collects law degree at U. of Missouri and joins military law unit.
  • 1980 Files for personal bankruptcy protection due to loan guarantee.
  • 1996 Retires as president of Enron, a position he held for six years.
  • 1997 Forms Kinder Morgan.
  • 2006 Takes Kinder Morgan private and renames it Knight Inc.
  • 2011 Knight renamed Kinder Morgan, sells shares in a public offering.
  • 2015 Retires as CEO in June 2015, retaining chairman title.