Monday, June 21, 2021

Foster Fries, big donor for Republican, dies at 81

Foster Fries, a Wyoming businessman who founded an investment firm, made a fortune and gave it to Republican presidential candidates and charities who, with occasional dispositions, died Thursday in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 41 years old.

His organization, Fosters Outriders, which confirmed the death, said he was caring at the Mayo Clinic for myeloidoplastic syndrome, blood cells and bone marrow disorder.

On Twitter, Wyoming’s Gov. Mark Gordon, who defeated Mr. Fries in the Republican Governor Primary in 2018, called Mr. Fries “a strong and steady voice for Republican and Christian values.”

Mr. Fries’ race for governor was his only attempt at major elected office. In the political arena he was primarily known for his donations, most notably for the presidential bid of former United States Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania in the 2012 and 2016 campaigns. After Mr. Santorum left the 2016 race, Mr. Fries Donald J. Became one of the first Republican megadonors to embrace Trump.

But for many, the most important support that an evangelical Christian, and his wife, Lynette, provided was for charity. The Fosters Outriders and the Lynn & Foster Fries Family Foundation have provided scholarships, funded work for the homeless, supported water projects in Africa, and more. His organization said that Mr. Fries donated $ 500 million in his lifetime.

In 2010 their 70th birthday party in Jackson Hole, Wyo., Where they stayed for much of the year, was the stuff of legend. Website Described this in 2011:

“In the party invitation, Freese, a born-again Christian, asked guests to identify their favorite charity, reflecting the values ​​of their favorite quote from Galatians: ‘Burden each other , And in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. ‘ He vowed to give $ 70,000 to the most qualified nominee.

When it came time to announce the winner, the servers at the Four Seasons Resort, where the party was taking place, distributed envelopes to the guests.

“Fries told the lucky winner to stand up and shout, and for other guests to be seated,” the account continued. “He then sat back and waited for the catastrophe.”

As people opened the envelopes, someone stood at every table and shouted, “I win!” He funded each request at a cost of $ 7.7 million.

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

“I come from nothing,” she Told the New York Times During his campaign for governor in 2018, he was asked if he could be considered one of the “nobles” he was railing against. “My mother left school in the eighth grade to take cotton and save the family farm. My father had a high school education. “

He graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison with a degree in business administration and served in the military as an intelligence officer for a guided-missile brigade at Fort Bliss in Texas.

After working in finance for many years, he founded an investment management firm Fries Associates In 1974 and soon came to be regarded as a first rate stock picker. His major asset, the Brandywine Fund, grew to more than $ 15 billion. He sold a controlling interest in Friess Associates to Affiliate Managers Group in 2001.

On the political side, Mr. Fries did more than support the candidates. In 2010, he was a founding investor in The Daily Caller, the conservative news and opinion website of Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel.

In 2012, Mr. Fries did not support Mr. Santorum so much because he agreed with all of his policies – “I try to talk to him,” he told broadcaster Lou Dobbs in February 2012 – but because he felt that the Republican Party One needs a new face.

“These old Veteran war horses, they have a hard time making it,” he said on “Lou Dobbs Tonight”. “Dole couldn’t make it, McCain couldn’t make it. On the Democratic side, Gore couldn’t make it and Kerry couldn’t make it. So the Democrats bring in these new faces, they bring Carter from anywhere, they bring Clinton They bring in from anywhere, they bring Obama from anywhere.

Later that month, Mr. Fries made headlines when, on MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell asked him if Mr. Santorum’s statements on “the dangers of contraception” would harm his campaign.

“Back in my days,” Mr. Fries said, “they used Bayer aspirin for contraception. The girls put it between their knees, and it wasn’t so expensive.

Mr. Santorum’s primary campaign was strong but established, and Mr. Obama was elected to a second term, defeating Mitt Romney.

In the next presidential campaign, Mr. Fries also initially supported Mr. Santorum. In mid-2015, with candidates in the Republican arena suffocating and increasing their level of cheapness, they called on candidates to “not remove citizenship reservations.”

In May 2014, with Mr. Santorum out of the race and Mr. Trump gaining the Republican nomination, Mr. Fries voiced his support for Trump, although acknowledging that Mr. Trump had proceeded in a very rude manner, What he cried – something that he hoped would change in the tenure of the president.

“Donald’s strategy seems to work,” Mr. Fries told CNN that month, “but I believe he is going to shift.”

Mr. Fries supported Mr. Trump throughout his administration, and as he ran for governor, the Trump family tried to return the favor – the president’s son, Donald Jr., in an opinion article in The Star Tribune of Casper, Wyo. Supported them. President Trump himself was calm, although he offered a Twitter post late in the campaign supporting Mr. Fries. Mr. Gordon’s victory was cited by some as evidence of Mr. Trump’s vulnerability, though others saw it more as a local matter.

Three weeks ago, when Darin Smith, a lawyer and businessman who argued that Mr. Trump “probably” won the 2020 election, Announced That he would challenge Representative Liz Cheney, the Republican of Wyoming, who Has been critical In Mr. Trump’s, 2022 primaries, he stated that Mr. Fries would be his campaign chairman.

Mr. Frieze’s wife of 58 years, Lynette Estes Fries, is survived by her four children, Tracy, Stephen, Carrie and Michael; One brother, Herman; And 15 grandchildren.

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