Dr. Richard Caruso founded the Uncommon Individual Foundation in 1986 to help individuals and organizations recognize and use mentoring as a way to achieve personal and professional success.

How It All Started

The son of Italian immigrants, Richard E. Caruso came from humble beginnings selling newspapers and shining shoes as a kid in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Caruso grew up with little money and few options for his future. That changed when a high school coach saw his athletic potential and started him on a path that led to a football scholarship at Susquehanna University. This path forever changed the trajectory of his life.

Onward & Upward

Caruso became the first in his family to graduate college, earned a Master’s Degree from Bucknell University, and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics. He became the Founder and CEO of Integra Life Sciences, pioneering regenerative medicine.

Dr. Caruso achieved great success in business and garnered many accolades along the way, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2006, but he never forgot the mentors who inspired and motivated his journey.

Mentor It Forward

Caruso credited a large part of his success to the mentors who who set him on a path to college. He dedicated his life to Mentoring it Forward by founding the Uncommon Individual Foundation. Since 1986, UIF has mentored thousands of students, schools, entrepreneurs, and organizations. This is Caruso’s proudest achievement.


Bachelor of Science, Susquehanna University

Master’s of Science Business Administration, Bucknell University

Doctor of Philosophy, London School of Economics


  • Founded Tenly Enterprises in 1982, which acquired Rustler Steak House before the acquisition by Sizzler
  • Founded Integra Life Sciences in 1989 which pioneered the field of regenerative medicine
  • Became a founding shareholder of Interactive Investor International in 1996
  • Caruso served on the boards of numerous companies, including First Sterling Bank, Advanced Voting Solutions, Inc., American Capital Mutual Funds, and the Medici Archive Project
  • Recipient of the New Jersey Entrepreneurial Leadership Award in Biomaterial Science in 2000
  • Recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2006
  • Recipient of the Special Achievement Award in Business and Health from the National Italian American Foundation in 2015