One of the wealthiest families in America is a staunch supporter of school choice and provides millions of dollars to the cause. Amway co-founder Richard DeVos is putting his money where is mouth is. The billionaire owner of the Orlando Magic and his family are key pioneers when it comes to Michigan’s fight for voucher programs.
The DeVos family is extremely conservative and gives money by the truckload to support conservative causes. Before 2000, school choice was little more than a fringe movement with very little steam. It was only after the DeVoss family began to actively support the plan that certain lawmakers were geared toward the right-wing policy.
Family patriarch, Dick DeVos, has always had a head for business. After his stint in the military, DeVos and Jay Van Andel co-founded Amway in 1959. DeVos was instrumental in building Amway into a multi-billion dollar company with operations in over 100 countries. Today, DeVos is worth an estimated $9 billion.
In 1991, DeVos acquired the Orlando Magic for $85 million. DeVos is widely known for his philanthropy, especially in his home state of Michigan. He and his wife, Helen, sit on a number local and national boards. The DeVos family has given money to many educational organizations, sports teams, political groups and the arts.
A staunch supporter of school choice, DeVos has given to many faith-based charities, Christian schools and inner city schools. Millions of the DeVos’ foundation dollars have funded summer camps for underprivileged children and neighborhood revitalization programs.