GOP megadonor Foster Friess dies at 81

GOP megadonor Foster Friess dies at 81
© Getty Images

Foster Friess, a multimillionaire investor and GOP megadonor, died Thursday at the age of 81.

Friess played a major role in conservative politics, from providing funding for the 2012 launch of the Daily Caller to financing presidential campaigns for GOP candidates.

He even secured an endorsement from former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump hails Arizona Senate for audit at Phoenix rally, slams governor Arkansas governor says it's 'disappointing' vaccinations have become 'political' Watch live: Trump attends rally in Phoenix MORE in an unsuccessful bid for governor of Wyoming in 2018. While campaigning, he continued to make contributions to other campaigns, including that of Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Tokyo Olympics kick off with 2020-style opening ceremony The Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi considers adding GOP voices to Jan. 6 panel Democrats plow ahead with Jan. 6 probe, eyeing new GOP reinforcements MORE (R-Wyo.).

ADVERTISEMENT

In 2012, Friess provided significant funding for former Sen. Rick Santorum's (R-Pa.) presidential bid, primarily through contributions to a super PAC backing Santorum.

Four years later, Friess backed Trump during the GOP primary.

"I have donated to Donald Trump’s campaign and will be enthusiastically supporting him, our Republican Governors, and efforts to keep Congress in Republicans hands, both financially and in other meaningful ways," Friess said at the time.

Friess, an evangelical Christian, also helped launch Turning Point USA with conservative figure Charlie Kirk.

He and his wife, Lynn, donated more than $500 million to philanthropic efforts over the years including rebuilding from natural disasters, providing fresh water to remote villages and helping those who are recovering from addiction.

Friess’s family announced his death and released a statement.

ADVERTISEMENT

"We are grateful for the wonderful life Foster lived and thankful to the many people who have shared their prayers during his illness. We know many of you mourn with us, and we will have more details soon on Foster's funeral,” his family said.

Born in 1940 in Rice Lake, Wis., Friess attended the University of Wisconsin, where he earned his degree in business administration and served as the president of his fraternity, Kappa Chapter of the Chi Phi Fraternity.

After his service in the Army, Friess founded his own investment firm, called Friess Associates, in 1974. 

Friess is survived by his wife, their four children, their 15 grandchildren and by his brother and sister-in-law.