Who We Are
Our Founder & History
Mr. Rainwater grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, where he graduated from Paschal High School before obtaining his degree in mathematics from the University of Texas and later his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He worked as an investment banker before accepting an invitation from former Stanford classmate Sid Bass to manage and diversify the Bass family portfolio, where he was responsible for numerous major corporate and real estate acquisitions and dispositions.
In 1986, Mr. Rainwater left Bass Enterprises to become an independent investor and founder/cofounder of numerous successful firms, including ENSCO International, Columbia Hospital Corporation, Mid Ocean Limited, and Crescent Real Estate Equities, Inc. He was also part-owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team.
Despite his immense success in the business world, Mr. Rainwater remained humble and grateful throughout his life. Richard was known for his generosity, both to those he knew personally and to complete strangers at times. In 1991, Richard established the Rainwater Charitable Foundation to give back to those in need, with a focus on educational opportunity. Richard believed that a good education promoted wholistic community flourishing.
In 2009, Richard was diagnosed with a rare neurodegenerative disease called Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). The Rainwater Charitable Foundation expanded its focus to include institutions that conduct medical research in the field of neuroscience through the Tau Consortium, The Rainwater Prize, and other initiatives.
The Foundation employs the same principles that Mr. Rainwater successfully used in his business career, focusing on leadership and scaling ideas that have been proven to work. Since its inception, the Foundation has supported more than 500 organizations around the globe, providing resources and funding to help improve the lives of countless children and families.
When Mr. Rainwater passed away in 2015, he had given more than $380 million to organizations working for the benefit of higher education, vulnerable children, and research associated with degenerative neurological diseases. He left nearly all his estate for charitable purposes. Richard approached philanthropy in the same way he approached his work—with a joyful spirit. His generosity and vision live on through the Rainwater Charitable Foundation, which continues to support visionary and transformative solutions to improve lives.