Herbert Kohler Net Worth: Powering Through Industry

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Herbert Vollrath Kohler Jr. was an American businessman who died in September 2022. At the time of his passing, Kohler had a net worth of $8.8 billion. He was a member of the highly successful Kohler family from Wisconsin. He served as the executive chairman of the Kohler family business, the Kohler Company.

The company was founded in 1873 by John Michael Kohler, Herbert’s grandfather. It originally manufactured hitching posts, farm tools, and cemetery ornament. Today, Kohler Co. is among the world’s most successful manufacturers of bathroom and kitchen fixtures. It also manufactures tiles, generators, furniture, and engines.

Are you curious to learn more about the exciting financial success of the late Herbert Kohler Jr.?

Take a quick tour into the impressive world of Herbert Kohler. Learn about his leadership in Kohler Company and how it shaped his staggering net worth.

Early Life and Education

Herbert Vollrath Kohler Jr. was born on February 20, 1939, to Ruth Miriam DeYoung Kohler and Herbert Vollrath Kohler Sr. Herbert Kohler Sr. ran the Kohler Co. from 1937 until his demise in 1968.

Kohler joined the Choate School in Wallingford, Connecticut, in 1957. The school changed its name to Choate Rosemary Hall. After graduation, Kohler enrolled at Yale University. He graduated in 1965 with a degree in Industrial Administration.

After Yale University, Herbert Kohler Jr. worked at the family business. He became the company board chairman in 1972 at the age of 33.

Personal Life

Herbert Kohler married his first wife, Linda Karger, in 1961. The couple had three children but divorced in the early 1980s.

His daughter, Rachel DeYoung Kohler, is married to the CEO and president of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Mark Hoplamazian. His son, K. David Kohler, is the current CEO of the Kohler Company. Herbert Kohler’s other daughter is called Laura Elizabeth Kohler. Linda Karger died in March 2005 at the age of 66 years.

Herbert Kohler’s second wife was Natalie Black, an alumnus of Stanford University. She joined Kohler in 1985 as a lawyer and rose through the ranks to become the head of the Kohler Foundation.

Herbert Kohler Jr. owned a horse breeding facility where he bred Morgan horses. He was the owner of Noble Flare, a Morgan horse that was sired by a noble command. Noble Flare won many titles before retiring in 1991. Kohler owned the horse from 1985 until its demise in 2006.

Herbert Kohler Jr. died on September 3, 2022, at 83. His death was officially announced on the Kohler Company’s official website.


The Kohler Family is notable and prominent in many ways. Hailing from the state of Wisconsin, the Kohler family has had influence in different sectors from the 19th through to the 21st centuries.

The family consists of two former governors of Wisconsin. Walter J. Kohler Sr. served as the 26th governor of Wisconsin between 1929 and 1931. Twenty years later, his son, Walter J. Kohler Jr., was elected the 33rd governor of Wisconsin, serving from 1951 to 1957.

John Michael Kohler II is another member of the Kohler family of Wisconsin who served in an elective office. He was elected mayor of Sheboygan in 1892. He co-founded the Kohler Co. in 1873 with Charles Silberzahn. The company’s initial name was Kohler & Silberzahn.

Here is a list of some of the notable members of the Kohler family of Wisconsin.

John Michael Kohler II; 1844–1900Patriarch
Walter Jodok Kohler Sr.; 1875–1940Son
Marie Christine Kohler; 1876–1943Daughter
Walter Jodok Kohler Jr.; 1904–1976Grandson
Julilly House; 1908–1976Granddaughter-in-law
Terry Jodok Kohler; 1934–2016Great-grandson
Herbert Vollrath Kohler Jr.; 1939–2022Grandson
Marie House Kohler; 1951–Great-granddaughter
David Karger Kohler; 1966–Great-grandson

Take a Look at the Story of Kohler:

Hobbies and Private Interests

Herbert Kohler was a player and a huge fan of professional golf. The Kohler Company owns four golf courses, some of which have hosted many notable golf tournaments. Some of the tournaments played at Kohler Company’s golf courses include the 1998 and 2012 U.S. Women’s Open. They have also hosted the 2007 U.S. Senior Open and the Ryder Cup in 2010. The Kohler company has also hosted the PGA Championship for three years in 2004, 2010, and 2015.

The American businessman also owned two world-class golf destinations in Wisconsin. The destinations are the Whistling Straits and the Blackwolf Run Golf Course. These golf destinations are now owned and operated by the Kohler Company.


Herbert Kohler Jr. joined the family business immediately after graduating from University. He started as a laborer and technician, and in 1972, he became the company’s CEO and chairman of the board of directors. He was only 33 then.

The Kohler Company grew exponentially under his guidance. He grew the engine and generator manufacturing sectors of the company to double the size he found. He launched the furniture, tile, and decorative products division of Kohler Interiors. The division now encompasses five product lines.

Herbert worked with the company’s board of trustees as the chairman for five years from 2005. Herbert Kohler Jr.’s tenure as CEO ended in 2015. He stepped down and handed the position to his first son, K. David Kohler. He retained the role of the executive chairman of the company until after his demise in 2022. David Kohler was elected executive chairman of the Kohler Company following his father’s death in September last year.

Kohler appeared in a Kevin Costner film in 2003, Open Range. He was given the role thanks to his strong friendship with the star and producer of the movie, Kevin Costner. He also appeared in 60 Minutes Sports, a News Documentary that premiered in 2013.

In 2012, Choate Rosemary Hall named a building after Herbert. It was in recognition of his $20 million contribution that built the Kohler Environmental Center.


Besides building an impressive net worth, Herbert Kohler Jr. has been honored and awarded many times. In 2006, he was inducted into the U.S. Business Hall of Fame by Junior Achievement. In 1993, the National Association of Home Builders inducted Kohler Jr. into the National Housing Hall of Fame. NAHB also inducted him into the Best in American Living Awards Hall of Fame. For playing such a huge role in innovative kitchen and bath design, Herbert was inducted into the Kitchen & Bath Hall of Fame in 1989.

He received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in 2012. Chief Executive Leadership Institute, Yale School of Management, awarded Herbert Kohler Jr. with the Legend in Leadership Award.

Earnings & Financial Data

Herbert V. Kohler Jr. served the Kohler Company in different capacities for 61 years. His role as the exec chairman of the Kohler-based Kohler Company was the main contributor to his massive net worth growth. Herbert V. Kohler Jr.’s earnings as the head of the Kohler Co. were not in the public domain. His earnings history is not either. However, the table below shows a brief of his net worth growth based on the available information. 

Net worth as of September 2022$8.8 billion
Net worth in 2021$9.8 billion
Net worth in 2009$1.3 billion
Net worth in 2007$4 billion 


Herbert Kohler Jr. was the heir to the massive wealth left behind by Herbert Kohler Snr. He used the plumbing products manufacturer to build a massive net worth and an array of assets. Kohler has assets in real estate properties, golf courses, and a horse-breeding facility. Based in Kohler, Wisconsin, Kohler Co. is a leading manufacturer of plumbing fixtures.

In addition to the Kohler Co. fortune, Herbert Kohler Jr. was also a prominent real estate developer. He owned many luxury golf resorts and courses in Kohler, Wisconsin. The Kohler Resort comprises golf courses, a spa, and many restaurants.


Who is Kohler’s CEO Now?

K. David Kohler, Herbert Kohler Jr.’s son, is currently the executive chairman and CEO of the Kohler Company. He is the fourth-generation heir to the fortune since it was founded by his great-grandfather in 1873. David Kohler has worked for the family business for over 30 years.

How Big is the Kohler Corporation?

Owned by the Kohler family of Wisconsin, the Kohler Company is a leader in many sectors. The Kohler, Wisconsin-based manufacturing company has been in existence since 1873. As of 2019, the Kohler Co. employed over 40,000 employees.

What is the Net Worth of the Kohler Family?

The Kohler Co. is a privately owned and operated company established in 1873. With its finger in many sectors, including furniture manufacturing, the Kohler Co. has made the Kohler family wealthy. The family owns 89% of the company, estimated to be worth $11.7 billion as of 2020.


The Kohler Company became a global enterprise under the leadership of Herbert Kohler Jr. He was a visionary businessman who saw possibilities and implemented them into the business. Herbert used his wealth to develop the community through philanthropy and project development. Herbert Kohler Jr. died in September 2022. He will be remembered as a visionary leader and an influential figure in the plumbing industry.