About Karl


Born in 1928, Karl McMillen, Jr., grew up in a young and developing Southern California. From an early age, Karl displayed a drive for greatness; working odds-and-ends jobs, soaking up knowledge and skillsets from every available source.

Karl began plumbing tract houses in Southern California as a partner in Alert Plumbing. He went on to distribute plumbing supplies all throughout Southern California and Las Vegas as the owner of Todd Pipe & Supply, which grew to nine locations and employed over four hundred dedicated employees. Through Karl’s hard work, dedication, and commitment to his employees and customers, the success of Todd Pipe became legendary.

Karl’s story of business success is counterbalanced by the emotional deaths of his wife to cancer and of both his sons, who spent most of their lives battling substance abuse. Karl, too, has struggled with alcoholism and proudly carries his seventeen-year sobriety chip.

Karl’s efforts to save his sons from drugs is a saga in itself, as he experienced firsthand the trials and errors of early rehab programs in the late 1960s and early ’70s. It was this experience, coupled with his sons’ struggles and deaths that drove Karl McMillen to the incredible philanthropy he is known for today.

After re-marrying in 2007, Karl, with his wife Carol, started The McMillen Family Foundation, which supports a long list of organizations dedicated to aiding those who suffer from substance abuse. To date, the McMillen Family Foundation has donated over $12 million towards the battle against drug and alcohol addiction.

Using his powerful wealth as ammunition to fight for others—to strive to prevent anyone from enduring the tragedies he and his family went through—is surely Karl’s greatest triumph.