Henry Bloch

Julie Denesha / KCUR

For two decades, Henry W. Bloch, co-founder of H&R Block, and his wife Marion, collected what they described as "pretty pictures" — mostly French Impressionist works by the likes of Degas, Matisse, and Monet. Nearly 30 of these paintings filled the walls of their Mission Hills, Kansas home.

Although these masterworks are not there now — you wouldn't know it by looking. 

The Blochs started collecting art in the 1970s for a very practical reason. "My wife and I had a home and we needed pictures in it," he recalls. 

Julie Denesha / KCUR

Like many entrepreneurs, Henry Bloch’s first business idea wasn’t the one that took off.

Henry and his brother, Richard Bloch, opened a small, bookkeeping office at Westport Road and Main Street in Kansas City. In 1955, they had decided to stop preparing tax returns, but an ad salesman for the Kansas City Star had a different idea.

Bloch Business School Opens Expansion At UMKC

Aug 16, 2013
Dan Verbeck / KCUR

The University of Missouri-Kansas City is putting its first students into the newly expanded business school.  The $32 million “Henry Bloch Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation” opens August 19. 

Finished construction marks the biggest single money-gift the school has ever gotten.

Kansas City, MO – At StoryCorps recording booths across the country, friends and loved ones interview each other about their lives. Each Tuesday during Morning Edition, we'll bring you a story from the MobileBooth in Kansas City.

In 1990, H & R Block co-founder, Henry Bloch was denied membership to the Kansas City Country Club for being Jewish. In protest, world class golfer, Tom Watson resigned. Henry Bloch tells his son, Thomas what happened, and how it changed the club's membership policies to this day.