Foster Friess, Huge Donor to Republicans, Dies at 81

Foster Friess, a Wyoming businessman who based an funding agency, made a fortune and gave quite a lot of it away to Republican presidential candidates and charities, generally with aptitude, died on Thursday in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 81.

His group, Foster’s Outriders, which confirmed the loss of life, stated he had been receiving care on the Mayo Clinic there for myelodysplastic syndrome, a dysfunction of the blood cells and bone marrow.

On Twitter, Gov. Mark Gordon of Wyoming, who defeated Mr. Friess within the Republican gubernatorial major in 2018, referred to as Mr. Friess “a robust and regular voice for Republican and Christian values.”

Mr. Friess’s run for governor was his solely attempt at main elected workplace. Within the political enviornment he was primarily identified for his donations, significantly to the presidential bids of Rick Santorum, the previous United States senator from Pennsylvania, within the 2012 and 2016 campaigns. After Mr. Santorum left the 2016 race, Mr. Friess grew to become one of many first Republican megadonors to embrace Donald J. Trump.

However to many, crucial assist that Mr. Friess, an evangelical Christian, and his spouse, Lynnette, offered was to charities. Foster’s Outriders and the Lynn and Foster Friess Household Basis have offered scholarships, financed work for homeless folks, supported water tasks in Africa and way more. His group stated Mr. Friess had donated $500 million in his lifetime.

His Seventieth-birthday social gathering in 2010 in Jackson Gap, Wyo., the place he lived a lot of the yr, was the stuff of legend. The web site described it in 2011:

“Within the invites to the social gathering, Friess, a born-again Christian, had requested the company to determine their favourite charity that mirrored the values of his favourite quote from Galatians: ‘Carry one another’s burdens, and on this means you’ll fulfill the regulation of Christ.’ He vowed to present $70,000 to probably the most worthy nominee.”

When the time got here to announce the winner, the servers on the 4 Seasons Resort, the place the social gathering was being held, distributed envelopes to the company.

“Friess requested the fortunate winner to face up and shout, and for the opposite company to stay seated,” the account continued. “Then he sat again and waited for the mayhem.”

As folks opened the envelopes, somebody at each desk stood and shouted, “I received!” He had funded each request, at a price of $7.7 million.

Foster Stephen Friess was born on April 2, 1940, in Rice Lake, Wis. His father, Albert, was a cattle rancher, and his mom, Ethel (Foster) Friess, was a homemaker.

“I got here from nothing,” he instructed The New York Instances in 2018 throughout his marketing campaign for governor when requested if he himself may be thought-about one of many “elites” he was railing in opposition to. “My mother dropped out of college in eighth grade to select cotton and save the household farm. My dad had a highschool training.”

He graduated from the College of Wisconsin in Madison with a level in enterprise administration and served within the Military as an intelligence officer for a guided-missile brigade at Fort Bliss in Texas.

After working in finance for a number of years, he based the funding administration agency Friess Associates in 1974 and was quickly thought to be a first-rate inventory picker. His flagship asset, the Brandywine Fund, swelled to greater than $15 billion. He bought a controlling curiosity in Friess Associates to the Affiliated Managers Group in 2001.

On the political facet, Mr. Friess did greater than assist candidates. In 2010, he was a founding investor in The Every day Caller, Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel’s conservative information and opinion web site.

In 2012 Mr. Friess supported Mr. Santorum not a lot as a result of he agreed with all his insurance policies — “I attempt to discuss him out of them,” he instructed the broadcaster Lou Dobbs in February 2012 — however as a result of he thought the Republican Get together wanted a brand new face.

“These outdated veteran struggle horses, they’ve a tough time making it,” he stated on “Lou Dobbs Tonight.” “Dole couldn’t make it, McCain couldn’t make it. On the Democratic facet, Gore couldn’t make it and Kerry couldn’t make it. So the Democrats deliver these recent faces, they bring about Carter from out of nowhere, they bring about Clinton from out of nowhere, they bring about Obama from past nowhere.”

Later that month Mr. Friess made headlines when, on MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell requested him whether or not Mr. Santorum’s statements on “the hazards of contraception” would damage his marketing campaign.

“Again in my days,” Mr. Friess stated, “they used Bayer aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn’t that expensive.”

Mr. Santorum’s major marketing campaign began sturdy however foundered, and Mr. Obama was elected to a second time period, defeating Mitt Romney.

Within the subsequent presidential marketing campaign, Mr. Friess additionally supported Mr. Santorum initially. In mid-2015, with the Republican subject choked with candidates and the nastiness degree rising, he referred to as on the candidates to not “drift off the civility reservation.”

In Could 2016, with Mr. Santorum out of the race and Mr. Trump having secured the Republican nomination, Mr. Friess threw his assist to the Trump trigger, although acknowledging that Mr. Trump had superior by displaying the very incivility he had decried — one thing he anticipated would change to a extra presidential tenor.

“Donald’s technique appears to work,” Mr. Friess instructed CNN that month, “however I’m satisfied he’s going to shift.”

Mr. Friess supported Mr. Trump all through his administration, and when he ran for governor, the Trump household tried to return the favor — the president’s son Donald Jr. endorsed him in an opinion article in The Star Tribune of Casper, Wyo. President Trump himself was quieter, though he did supply a Twitter publish late within the marketing campaign endorsing Mr. Friess. Mr. Gordon’s victory was cited by a few of as proof of Mr. Trump’s vulnerability, although others noticed it extra as a neighborhood matter.

Three weeks in the past, when Darin Smith, a lawyer and businessman who has contended that Mr. Trump “most likely” received the 2020 election, introduced that he would problem Consultant Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming, who has been essential of Mr. Trump, within the 2022 primaries, he stated that Mr. Friess can be his marketing campaign chairman.

Mr. Friess’s spouse of 58 years, Lynnette Estes Friess, survives him, as do their 4 kids, Traci, Stephen, Carrie, and Michael; a brother, Herman; and 15 grandchildren.

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