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Paul Orfalea (Arabic: بول أورفاليا‎) (born November 28, 1947), nicknamed "Kinko" because of his curly red hair, founded the copy-chain Kinko's.[1]

Orfalea was born in Los Angeles, California to parents of Syrian Orthodox Christian descent.[1] His father's family came from the city Urfa (now in Turkey), formerly a major center of Greek Orthodox and Syriac Christianity. Orfalea and his wife are practicing Roman Catholics.

He is currently a philanthropist and a visiting professor in the Global and International Studies Department of the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB),[2] at the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Southern California (USC) Marshall School of Business and at the Fred Kiesner Center for Entrepreneurship for the College of Business Administration at Loyola Marymount University.[3] He is a brother of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.

Early life[edit]

Orfalea's father and grandmother ran clothing stores in Los Angeles. According to Orfalea, he was a woodshop major in high school, and his typical report card was "two C's, three D's, and a F." Due to his dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Orfalea reportedly flunked two grades and was expelled from several schools.[4] He later attended the University of Southern California.[1] Despite being fired from a number of jobs, his family supported him in his determination to launch his own business.[5] In later life he remarked on the subject of his handicaps, "I get bored easily, and that is a great motivator, I think everybody should have dyslexia and ADD."[6][7]


Orfalea decided to start up his own business while he was attending USC. With a $5,000 bank loan co-signed by his parents, Orfalea founded Kinko's in 1970. His first store was a 100 square foot space adjacent to a hamburger stand in the Isla Vista neighborhood of Santa Barbara, California, rented for $100 a month. Orfalea began selling notebooks, pens, pencils, and the services of a copying machine at 4 cents per copy. Within ten years, Kinko’s grew to a network of over 80 stores across the country. Rather than franchise, Orfalea formed partnerships with each individual store's local co-owners. Since the stores were located mostly near college campuses and staffed by part-time students, the business was initially driven by the needs of university students. The clientele soon expanded to include other high-end document users, such as job seekers printing resumes and business users generating professional documentation. Orfalea's open-for-24-hours policy increased the stores popularity and led to the spread of Kinko's across the United States and internationally, and ultimately to more than 1,200 locations and 23,000 employees in 10 different countries. Orfalea put a high value on employee satisfaction, and Fortune Magazine named Kinko’s one of the best places in America to work for three years in a row. Kinko’s was acquired by Federal Express in 2004, with Orfalea no longer involved in the company’s business management. The company presently does business under the name FedEx Office.[1][4][5][8]


The Orfalea College of Business

In 2000, Orfalea established the Orfalea Family Foundation that deals with differences in learning, care in early life stages, knowledge-giving programs that span the needs of multiple generations, and training for caregiving.[4] The Orfalea Foundation, as it is now known, focuses on early childhood education, K-college education, and youth development, primarily in Santa Barbara County, California. The foundation is known for taking direct action as well as making grants. Its most visible program, the School Food Initiative (SFI), trains food service staff and directors to transition from heat-and-serve fare to cooked-from-scratch meals in local schools. SFI also provides infrastructure and equipment grants to support scratch cooking, along with farm-to-school connections, school gardens, and food literacy programs.

In 2001, the California Polytechnic State University's College of Business was renamed the Orfalea College of Business, in recognition of his $15 million gift to the school.[9]


  • Copy this! : lessons from a hyperactive dyslexic who turned a bright idea into one of America's best companies. 2005, Paul Orfalea; Ann Marsh. Workman Publishing
  • Two Billion Dollars in Nickels : Reflections on the Entrepreneurial Life. 2008, Paul Orfalea; Dean Zatkowsky. Dizzy One Ventures LLC
  • The Entrepreneurial Investor : the Art, Science, and Business of Value Investing. 2008. Paul Orfalea; Lance Helfert; Atticus Lowe; Dean Zatkowsky. John Wiley & Sons


  1. ^ a b c d Carmichael, Evan. "The Curly Haired Copy Entrepreneur: The Rise of Paul Orfalea". Evancarmichael.com. Retrieved 1 March 2012. 
  2. ^ The Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ a b c Sterman, Paul. "Meet "Kinko" Paul Orfalea". Giving Back, April/May 2003. Ability Magazine. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Renee Martin; Don Martin (5 April 2011). The Risk Takers: 16 Top Entrepreneurs Share Their Strategies for Success. Vanguard. pp. 45–. ISBN 978-1-59315-637-4. Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  6. ^ BOWERS, BRENT (December 6, 2007). "Tracing Business Acumen to Dyslexia". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  7. ^ Seth Godin (26 November 2002). Survival Is Not Enough: Why Smart Companies Abandon Worry and Embrace Change. Simon and Schuster. pp. 4–. ISBN 978-0-7432-3338-5. Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  8. ^ Olsen, Dana (2012-02-15). "Orfalea offers advice to start ups". Pacific Coast Business Times. Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  9. ^ "About Paul Orfalea". California Polytechnic State University. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Orfalea — Please support Wikipedia.
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434 videos foundNext > 


Keynote Address: Be Creative

Orfalea founded Kinko's, Inc. in 1970 with a simple idea: provide products and services at a competitive price. From its modest beginnings, Kinko's - now FedEx Kinko's - is the world's leading...


Paul Orfalea, founder of Kinko's, shares his intimate story of start-up to success as part of the Enlightened Entrepreneurship Series TM presented by the Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship...

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Paul Orfalea - Copy This! Lessons from a Hyperactive Dyslexic, Kinko's Founder

Paul Orfalea, author of COPY THIS!, and founder of Kinko's, talks with James Michael Tyler about turning ADHD and dyslexia into advantages as he built one of America's best companies.

Advantage of Being Second (Paul Orfalea)

Paul Orfalea, founder and visionary of Kinko's, shares unfiltered insights about business, life, and the advantages of dyslexia and ADD.

Waraa Al Woojooh - Paul Orfalea

This immensely successful show, that featured intimate interviews, was both produced and hosted by Ricardo. Adopting the face-to-face formula was a calculated smart move that allowed Ricardo...

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Paul Orfalea on Creativity

Paul Orfalea founded Kinko's in 1970 near the University of California at Santa Barbara and, today, there are over 1500 Kinko's worldwide. Orfalea encouraged active participation from all...

Kinko's Founder Paul Orfalea at Cal Poly Presentation

Kinko's founder and Orfalea College of Business namesake visited campus as part of the college's Distinguished Speakers Series. Here are brief outtakes, in which the entrepreneur discusses...

434 videos foundNext > 

139 news items


Thu, 16 Apr 2015 06:06:42 -0700

Ryan's individual donors from California during the quarter included Gopi Kallayil, Google's "Chief Evangelist for Brand Marketing," Natalie Orfalea - the wife of Kinko's founder Paul Orfalea and film director Alan Polsky. When asked about his out-of ...
Thu, 28 Jun 2012 06:08:32 -0700

Paul Orfalea is the founder of Kinko's, a philanthropist, and a serial entrepreneur. He is a visiting professor in the Global and International Studies Department of the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) and the Lloyd Greif Center for ...
Mon, 06 Oct 2014 14:02:42 -0700

Lance Helfert, 41, president of West Coast Asset Management and Atticus Lowe, 35, WCAM's chief investment officer, are leaving what remains of an ambitious RIA effort launched by Kinko's founder, Paul Orfalea, to join Lucia Capital Group of San Diego.

Le Temps (Abonnement)

Le Temps (Abonnement)
Thu, 16 Apr 2015 05:33:45 -0700

Paul Orfalea, fondateur de Kinko's, devenu FedEx Kinko's, explique comment sa différence l'a doté d'un état d'esprit résilient: «Je n'avais que très peu confiance en moi étant enfant. Et c'est une bonne chose. Si on vous rejette un tant soit peu dans ...

Pacific Coast Business Times

Pacific Coast Business Times
Fri, 17 Oct 2014 00:24:56 -0700

West Coast Asset Management, the alternative investment firm founded by Paul Orfalea and family member Lance Helfert, is merging with a San Diego-based money manager. WCAM, based in Santa Barbara, said Oct. 21 that it was “entering into a strategic ...


Tue, 30 Sep 2014 03:41:15 -0700

It's a core vision for Paul Orfalea who parlayed his success as founder of Kinko's in Isla Vista nearly 45 years ago into a dynamic philanthropic family enterprise. "Paul is really concerned that the whole child is taken into account in the school ...
Los Angeles Times
Sun, 15 Jun 2008 15:44:46 -0700

That's the anguished analogy that the copy chain's founder, Paul Orfalea, makes in his belated comments on FedEx Corp.'s decision to drop the Kinko's name. FedEx, which bought Kinko's in 2004 for $2.4 billion, announced on June 2 that it was changing ...
San Luis Obispo Tribune
Mon, 08 Mar 2010 23:37:25 -0800

A group of faculty members at Cal Poly's College of Business says its top administrator overstepped his bounds by allowing multimillion dollar donor Paul Orfalea to teach a course offered only to high-achieving students and without the knowledge of ...

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