Foster Friess
Source: Getty

How Noted GOP Donor Foster Friess Made His Millions

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May. 28 2021, Published 12:20 p.m. ET

Foster Friess, a millionaire investor who made a name for himself through quite a few donations to Republican political candidates and causes, passed away at age 81 on May 27. Friess was known for his large donations to well-known members of the GOP, including President Donald Trump and presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

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The Hill reported that Friess and his wife donated upwards of $500 million over his lifetime to a variety of charitable causes. Some donations were for rebuilding after natural disasters, providing fresh water in remote areas, and helping those in addiction recovery programs. Although many people called him a billionaire, Friess denied this claim.

How Foster Friess made his money.

After serving in the military, Friess started his investment career with a NYSE firm controlled by the Brittingham family.

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foster friess donor
Source: Foster Friess Facebook

Friess founded his own investment firm, Friess Associates, in 1974, which is where most of his wealth likely originated. Located in the Brandywine region of Delaware, Friess Associates successfully managed portfolios for high-net-worth individuals and institutions.

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Reportedly, Friess sold a 51 percent stake of Friess Associates to Affiliated Managers Group (AMG) for $247 million in 2001. However, he retained a 10 percent stake in the company. In 2013, the Friess Associates firm became 100 percent employee-owned.

Friess launched Brandywine Fund in 1985, followed by Brandywine Blue Fund in 1991. This helped solidify Friess Associates’ position as a powerful growth-equity manager as it moved into the 2000s.

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Friess made a run for the office of governor of Wyoming in 2018, which was unsuccessful despite Trump’s endorsing his campaign.

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Foster Friess’ net worth

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Friess had a net worth of $140 million. Friess denied media claims that he reached billionaire status. He told Forbes in 2012 that he hoped to get there someday.

Friess donated to many philanthropic causes and organizations in his lifetime, especially staunchly Republican politicians and political causes, according to The Hill. He provided financial backing for the launch of the conservative news and opinion site, The Daily Caller, with Tucker Carlson. He also threw his support behind Charlie Kirk’s “Turning Point America.” 

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In 2016, Friess said at the time of President Trump’s campaign, “I have donated to Donald Trump’s campaign and will be enthusiastically supporting him, our Republican Governors, and efforts to keep Congress in Republican's hands, both financially and in other meaningful ways.”

Foster Friess’s wife and children

Friess married wife Lynnette in 1962, and the couple had four children. The philanthropist is survived by his wife, their children, and 15 grandchildren. 

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With his wife, Friess ran the Friess Family Foundation to support Christian mobile medical services and provide financial assistance following natural disasters like the Indonesian tsunami, the 2010 Haiti earthquake, and Hurricane Katrina.

According to Cowboy State Daily, Friess was a “visionary investor and pioneer of growth stock picking.” In 2018, Forbes said that he was one of the 10 most successful money managers of this generation, alongside renowned figures like Warren Buffett, Peter Lynch, and John Templeton.

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