Henry Bloch, co-founder of the company H&R Block, died on April 23. A titan of the tax preparation industry, he was 96 years old.
Bloch, a WWII veteran and UMKC alumnus, started what would become H&R Block with his brother, Leon, in 1945. Primarily doing bookkeeping for small businesses, the Bloch brothers helped people with tax filing on the side. Soon this portion of their company skyrocketed in popularity. H&R Block, based in Kansas City, is now one of the world’s largest tax preparation firms.
Though he would become well known for his business acumen, in his later years Bloch became known as a great philanthropist. Supporting many causes in the Kansas City community, Bloch once said, “Over the years, I have enjoyed giving back. And in the process, I have learned that true success is not measured in what you get, but in what you give back.”
Bloch supported institutions such as Saint Luke’s Hospital and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, which named its Bloch building in his honor.
Many UMKC students may be quite familiar with Bloch’s name, attending the Henry W. Bloch School of Management or taking classes in the Bloch building, which was funded by the businessman.
Memorialized in a plethora of articles and tributes from the public, Bloch was remembered as a wise and generous man that did much to contribute to the good of Kansas City and the public at large.
His company, one of Kansas City’s largest, and his foundation, which contributes to a variety of causes, continue on bearing the name of of the city’s leading men.