NET WORTH: $2.4 billion
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Feld Entertainment
FUNDING AREAS: Higher Education, Performing Arts, Conservation
OVERVIEW: Kenneth Feld and family move their philanthropy through the Feld Family Foundation, which supports higher education, the performing arts, and conservation of the endangered Asian elephant.
BACKGROUND: Kenneth J. Feld graduated with a business degree from Boston University in 1970. He is the CEO of Feld Entertainment, which has operated the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Disney on Ice, Doodlebops Live, and Disney Live, among others. The business was started by his father Irvin Feld; Kenneth took over in the 1980s after Irvin passed away.
EDUCATION & PERFORMING ARTS: The Feld Family Foundation pledged $10 million to Boston University to enhance faculty development and other university projects. Feld chairs the board of trustees; his daughter Alana also attended BU. The Feld Family Foundation has contributed to Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C., which offers a pre-professional education in the practical aspects of Entertainment Arts Production. Funds have gone to Florida State University Foundation to support the Center for the Modern Circus.
CONSERVATION: In 1995, Feld established the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation, a state-of-the-art facility for the research, reproduction and retirement of the endangered Asian elephant. The facility closed earlier in the decade.
LOOKING FORWARD: Expect Feld to continue to dig into his select interest areas. In his 70s, Feld is still very much engaged in business. His three daughters should be watched as they assume leadership roles in both Feld Entertainment and the next generation of Feld philanthropy.