E. Stanley Kroenke, Founder and Owner of The Kroenke Group and Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, to Receive 2022 Horatio Alger Award
For Immediate Release
October 5, 2021
Stanley Kroenke, Founder and Owner of The Kroenke Group and Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, to Receive 2022 Horatio Alger Award
Horatio Alger Association names 16 outstanding individuals, each of whom has overcome adversity to achieve professional and personal success, to its Member Class of 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 5, 2021) – Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education, today announced that E. Stanley Kroenke, Founder and Chairman of The Kroenke Group and Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, has been selected for membership in this prestigious organization. Mr. Kroenke joins 15 other exceptional business, civic and cultural leaders from across North America in receiving 2022 honors. For 75 years, the Horatio Alger Award has been annually bestowed upon esteemed individuals who have succeeded despite facing adversities, and who have remained committed to higher education and charitable efforts in their communities.
Mr. Kroenke grew up in Mora, Missouri, a town with approximately two dozen residents. Raised by a German father who owned a lumberyard and a mother who worked as a teacher, Mr. Kroenke was expected to contribute to the family by working at his father’s business. At first, he was tasked with sweeping floors and bookkeeping. By the time he was 11 years old, Mr. Kroenke was working 10-hour shifts performing various jobs – including demanding physical labor –
for 3 dollars a day. As an educator, Mr. Kroenke’s mother taught him the power of reading, instilling in him and his three siblings an awareness of a much larger world beyond their small town despite their inability to travel far because of work demands and resources. He called that early emphasis on education the most transformative part of his childhood, realizing that he could work toward making his life and the lives of those around him better. Mr. Kroenke’s hard work and love of learning paid off when he earned an academic scholarship to the University of Missouri in Columbia.
By the time he was in college, Mr. Kroenke was running his first business, a successful clothing store. By 1975, he continued to chase his entrepreneurial dreams by working on real estate deals that ultimately led to the founding of The Kroenke Group, a company focused on developing and managing marketplaces, shopping centers and apartments. Later, Mr. Kroenke entered sports and entertainment through the National Football League in the mid-1990s. He founded Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE) in 1999. Mr. Kroenke’s vast sports holdings include the Los Angeles Rams (NFL), Arsenal Football Club (English Premier League), Denver Nuggets (NBA), Colorado Avalanche (NHL), Colorado Rapids (MLS) and Colorado Mammoth (NLL).
Combining his real estate talents with his love of sports and entertainment, Mr. Kroenke owns and runs many world-class venues, including Ball Arena (formerly Pepsi Center) in Denver, Colorado, Dick’s Sporting Goods (DSG) Park in Commerce City, Colorado, Emirates Stadium in London, England, YouTube Theater in Inglewood, California, and the iconic SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.
“Throughout his life, Mr. Kroenke has embodied the Association’s mission by dreaming big and never giving up,” said Terrence J. Giroux, executive director, Horatio Alger Association. “He truly exemplifies what you can achieve through education, hard work and a relentless spirit. Even more impressive, he continues to use his successes to impact several diverse philanthropic causes from youth fitness and education to natural disaster recovery to conservation. We’re honored to present him with the Horatio Alger Award and look forward to celebrating his many accomplishments next April.”
Throughout his career, Mr. Kroenke has launched and transformed dozens of business ventures, including television and radio stations, warehouses, and renowned vineyards and ranches in North America and Europe. Despite his career successes, Mr. Kroenke considers his greatest accomplishment and joy was raising his two children, Whitney and Josh, with his wife Ann. Through KSE, Mr. Kroenke created Kroenke Sports Charities with a goal of improving lives through sports. The organization provides education, fitness initiatives, athletic programs, public school systems and direct aid to those in need. In 2020, Mr. Kroenke and his family established the KSE COVID-19 Relief Fund to offer financial assistance to hundreds of part-time employees and their families affected by the pandemic. His family kicked off the fund by donating $500,000 through the Kroenke Family Foundation. The family also has donated millions to numerous charities, including art and music schools around the world and to the Red Cross for hurricane relief efforts.
“Becoming a Member of the Horatio Alger Association is an immense honor,” said Mr. Kroenke. “Education has made a massive impact on my and my family’s lives. I’m grateful for this Award and to be part of an organization that helps students overcome unimaginable obstacles and encourages them to follow their dreams and explore a world larger than their own.”
Since 1984, the Association has awarded annual need-based scholarships to high school students who have displayed dedication to pursuing higher education despite significant obstacles throughout their lives. The Association also aims to educate young people about the endless opportunities available by the free-enterprise system through commitment, honesty, and diligence. The scholarships are made possible through the Association thanks to the generosity of its Members, who will have collectively provided more than $235 million to 35,000 students by the 2022 Awards.
Mr. Kroenke and the Member Class of 2022 will be formally inducted into the Association on April 7-9, 2022, during the Association’s 75th Horatio Alger Award Induction Ceremonies in Washington, D.C. The three-day event is an annual ceremony to honor both the achievements of Members and National Scholars, who will have multiple opportunities to meet, interact and exchange stories of perseverance.
About Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans:
Founded in 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc. is dedicated to the simple but powerful belief that hard work, honesty and determination can conquer all obstacles. The Association honors the achievements of outstanding leaders who have accomplished remarkable successes in spite of adversity by bestowing upon them the Horatio Alger Award and inducting them as lifetime Members. Horatio Alger Members support promising young people with the resources and confidence needed to overcome adversity in pursuit of their dreams through higher education. Through the generosity of its Members and friends, in 2020, the Association awarded more than $21 million in undergraduate and graduate need-based scholarships to 2,500 students across the United States and Canada, and provided college support and mentoring services to its Scholars. Since 1984, the Association has awarded more than $235 million in undergraduate, graduate, military veteran and career and technical education scholarships to more than 35,000 deserving students. For more information, please visit www.horatioalger.org.
Horatio Alger Members are part of a select group of individuals who have experienced a wide spectrum of what life can offer. Similar to characters in stories by Horatio Alger, Jr., they traditionally have started life in “humble” or economically challenging circumstances.
The Association administers more than 70 undergraduate and graduate need-based scholarship programs.