Foster Friess, Massive 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, typically with aptitude, died on Thursday in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 81.

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

Gov. Mark Gordon of Wyoming, who defeated Mr. Friess within the Republican gubernatorial major in 2018, writing on Twitter, referred to as Mr. Friess “a powerful 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 turned one of many first Republican megadonors to embrace Donald J. Trump.

However to many, a very powerful 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 initiatives in Africa and far more. His group stated Mr. Friess had donated $500 million in his lifetime.

His seventieth celebration in 2010 in Jackson Gap, Wyo., the place he lived a lot of the 12 months, was the stuff of legend. The web site described it.

“Within the invites to the get together, Friess, a born-again Christian, had requested the friends to determine their favourite charity that mirrored the values of his favourite quote from Galatians: ‘Carry one another’s burdens, and on this approach you’ll fulfill the regulation of Christ,’” it wrote in 2011. “He vowed to present $70,000 to essentially the most worthy nominee.”

When the time got here to announce the winner, the servers on the 4 Seasons Resort, the place the get together was being held, distributed envelopes to the friends.

“Friess requested the fortunate winner to face up and shout, and for the opposite friends 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 gained!” He had funded each request, at a value 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 informed The New York Occasions in 2018 throughout his marketing campaign for governor when requested if he himself is likely to be thought of 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 schooling.”

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 informed the broadcaster Lou Dobbs in February 2012 — however as a result of he thought the Republican Celebration 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 carry these recent faces, they create Carter from out of nowhere, they create Clinton from out of nowhere, they create 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 harm 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 discipline choked with candidates and the nastiness degree growing, he referred to as on the candidates to not “drift off the civility reservation.”

In Might 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 informed 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 submit 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 “in all probability” gained 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 could be his marketing campaign chairman.

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

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