This Funnyman Is Serious About Healthcare and Religious Causes 

Kevin James in 2011. photo: RoidRanger/shutterstock

Kevin James in 2011. photo: RoidRanger/shutterstock

You might think you know a lot about Kevin James, the 53-year old comedic actor behind such television hits as the long-running King of Queens and Kevin Can Wait, and big screen hits like Paul Blart: Mall Cop and—my personal favorite—Hitch. Maybe you know the Hollywood star was actually born Kevin George Knipfing on Long Island, New York. 

For all his efforts, Kevin James is worth approximately $80 million, at least by some estimates. He and his family are also philanthropic, moving some of their giving through the JVK Foundation, a low-profile vehicle that lists three trustees. Apart from Kevin Knipfing—err, James—his mother Janet, and sister Leslie also steer the charity. In a recent year, the foundation gave away around $232,000, and the family members have several select interests worth knowing about.

Leslie suffers from retinitis pigmentosa, an eye disease in which the back wall of the eye is damaged. Leslie and James have advocated to bring more awareness to the disease. They’ve also supported, via their foundation, places like Columbia University Medical School, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center.

James grew up in a Catholic household and has spoken about the importance of his faith: “I was born and raised Catholic and absolutely love my faith and learn more and more about it all the time. It’s nice to have that going into whatever you do, whatever part of life you take upon yourself.” The family has supported St. Therese Catholic Church, St. Peter and Paul Parish, and Ramona Friends Church, among others.

James is only in his early 50s, and very much active in Hollywood. Perhaps greater funds will move out of the door in the coming years.