The Great Outdoors: A Billionaire Couple Supports the Environment

In 1973, Peter R. Kellogg joined his father, James Kellogg, at brokerage house Spear, Leeds & Kellogg. A few years later he took the reins and in 2000 sold the firm to Goldman Sachs for $6.5 billion in cash and stock. The 74-year-old Kellogg is currently worth $3.6 billion.

Kellogg and his wife Cynthia move their charitable contributions through the Peter R. & Cynthia K. Kellogg Foundation, which was established in the early 1980s and supports a long trail of organizations annually. The Kelloggs are based in New Jersey and a lot of their giving targets the eastern seaboard. Several members of the Kellogg family, including Peter, attended the Berkshire School and through the years the Kelloggs have given the Massachusetts-based school over $40 million.

The Berkshire School is home to the Ritt Kellogg Mountain Program, which honors the couple's son, the late Ritt Kellogg, a 1985 graduate. Ritt, an avid outdoorsman, went on to graduate from Colorado College in 1990. Two years later, Ritt, with Tom Walter and his college roommate and best friend Colby Coombs set out to scale Mount Foraker in Alaska, the third tallest mountain in the United States, topping off at more than 17,000 feet.

A storm broke and the trio abandoned their summit plans. Then, as they were making other maneuvers, an avalanche hit, killing Ritt and Tom in the process. The surviving Colby, with a broken foot and a concussion, descended the mountain in six days. Ritt and Tom were never found.

The Kelloggs have continued to honor their son’s love for the outdoors. Colorado College is the site of the Ritt Kellogg Memorial Fund and the Ritt Kellogg Climbing Wall. They’ve also supported the Alaska Mountaineering School, which Colby steers.

The Kelloggs steadily supports other environmental organizations, often with an eye towards the East Coast. Via their foundation, they’ve supported places like American Camellia Society, American Forest Foundation, American Salmon Foundation, American Tree Farm System, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Audubon Society - South Carolina, Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions, Friends of Hudson River Park, and New Jersey Conservation Foundation.

Additionally, The Kellogg couple gives to a range of other causes including historic preservation, the arts, and health. Unfortunately for grantseekers, the family’s charity keeps a low profile and does not appear to accept unsolicited proposals. For a full overview of this couple’s giving, read our Wall Street Profile linked below.

Related: Peter and Cynthia Kellogg