Foster Friess

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Foster Stephen Friess (born April 2, 1940 in Rice Lake, WI) is an American mutual fund manager and supporter of conservative Christian and radical Right causes and candidates. In a 2001 article, BusinessWeek suggested Friess, who manages the multi-billion dollar Brandywine Fund, "may be the longest-surviving successful growth-stock picker, having navigated markets for 36 years, in his own firm since 1974."[1]


Foster Friess was born in 1940 in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, a town of approximately 5,000 people. His father was a cattle dealer with a high school education and his mother dropped out of 8th grade to pick cotton on the family farm to rescue it from bankruptcy. While earning a degree in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin, he served as president of the Chi Phi Fraternity, enrolled in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) and was named one of the "ten most outstanding senior men." In 1962 Foster married Lynnette Estes and two sons, two daughters and eight grandchildren followed.

Foster is a born-again evangelical Christian. He moved to Wyoming for the beneficial regulatory and tax climate that the well-to-do enjoy in that state.


After graduating from the University of Wisconsin, Foster trained to be an infantry platoon leader and served as the intelligence officer for the First Guided Missile Brigade, Fort Bliss, Texas. In 1964, Foster launched his investment career with the Brittingham family-controlled NYSE member firm in Wilmington, Delaware, eventually becoming Director of Research. Success came slowly during the beginning years of building his own investment management firm, Friess Associates which he and Lynn launched in 1974.[2]

The firm grew to over $15.7 billion (assets under management) before Foster turned the reigns over to new management in 2001. Forbes named Brandywine Fund, Friess Associates flagship, as one of the decade's top performers as a result of its average 20% annual gains in the 1990s. In 2001, Friess Associates sought and found a partner in AMG to facilitate succession planning and spread ownership among Friess teammates. AMG first acquired a majority interest in Friess Associates in October 2001 and today holds a 70% interest. 20% equity ownership of the firm is held by a broad group of key Friess teammates, including senior management and researchers. The Friess Family retains 10% equity.[3]

Awards and achievements

  • Childhelp Spirit of the Children Award, 2010
  • Paul Weyrich Award, Benefactor of the Year, 2009
  • Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award presented by the Champ.
  • Humanitarian of the Year presented at the National Charity Awards Dinner.
  • Canterbury Medal from The Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty[4]
  • Adam Smith Award from Hillsdale College[5]
  • Albert Schweitzer Leadership Award from Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Foundation[6]
  • David R. Jones Award for Leadership in Philanthropy[7]
  • Thomas J. Reese Award from Catholic Charities tribute in 2001
  • Medal of Distinction from the University of Delaware[8]
  • Maryvale, AZ 'Man of the Year' Award
  • Citizen of the Month Jackson Hole, WY Rotary Club
  • Delaware Business Leaders Hall of Fame
  • Honorary Degrees from Pepperdine University, Regent University, and Goldey Beacom College

Political Activism

Friess is a Republican donor. He was a staunch supporter of George W. Bush's administration, donating $689,000 to Republican organizations and the Bush presidential campaigns over the last decade. He has been an active and generous patron of far-Right political causes and candidates, contributing millions to candidates and groups.

  • He is a member of the secretive conservative Council for National Policy that coordinates objectives amongst the network of astroturf grass roots groups, think tanks, Super PACs and their wealthy funders.
  • Friess gives to Private Sector Solutions, a network of leaders developing private sector solutions to augment, preempt or replace government services.
  • Donations to LibForAll and other groups building a global counter-extremism network
  • Opposition to national health reform through patient-driven health care activist group Free Market Cure and other groups.
  • Choice in Education through Alliance for School Choice, All Children Matter and others
  • In the near future, Friess expects to make grants to advocate for the FairTax — which would replace the current federal system of taxation with a tax on retail sales. [9]


  • Friess was instrumental in pouring money into the political campaign of presidential hopeful Rick Santorum in 2012 by way of a Super PAC called the "Red White and Blue Fund" he told NBC News. He also donated $250,000 to Santorum's failed re-election campaign in 2006, and at least that amount to the Republican Governors' Association.[10]


  • He was acknowledged at the privately held Koch seminar in June 2011 in Vail, Colorado for donating at least $1 million to Koch-related causes.[11]
  • Friess gives to conservative think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute, and to education groups that advocate for school voucher programs, including the Alliance for School Choice. [12]
  • Foster Freiss gave Scott Walker $100,000 to fend off his recall, part of the $5.1M of out-of-state money contributed.[13]


  • Spoke to a Tea Party rally in Phoenix, Arizona


2005 to 2007

  • Friess donated $100,000 to All Children Matter an anti-teacher's union, pro-voucher organization of very heavy hitters of the far Right.


  • Friess created a stir in Jackson Hole when he "made the Grand Teton Music Festival an offer it didn't refuse: a $40,000 donation in return for swearing off $10,950 in government aid. In response Warren Adler, the town's resident literary giant, created an uproar, writing in a local newspaper, Must we all think one way and be cowed into accepting a political agenda because the highest bidder demands it?"[14]

Right Wing Media Investments

  • Freiss reportedly has put more than $3M into conservative commentator Tucker Carlson's The Daily Caller website..[15] Friess does not even serve on the board of directors of the publication. "Why would Friess insist that he didn't even want to serve on the company's board? 'He's eccentric,' Patel says.

Website & Blog

Friess has a website at where he and contributors write for his "[Campfire Blog]"


The Washington Post in 2010 notes:

"Friess, who has gone hunting with Cheney, is a man of many opinions. He has sent out fundraising letters to fight the Democrats' health-care legislation, calls much of the information on global warming "distorted and manipulated," and says "the American public is oblivious to the fact that we are at war and that just playing defense is a disastrous course to take."[16]


  • Lynn and Foster Friess Family Foundation [17]
  • Contributors to the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, WY
  • Founding grant for Good Samaritan Health Services - Mobile Medical Care in Tulsa, OK.
  • $100,000 challenge grants for communities who want to start Mobile Medical Care programs[18]
  • Matching challenge grant helped raise over $2 million in relief money for Tsunami victims in Sri Lanka. Foster personally traveled to the hardest-hit areas to speak with local church and organization leaders to identify the best efforts.[19]
  • Another matching grant administered through the NCF Giving Fund sent more than $4 million to provide hot meals and other relief support to Katrina Victims.[19]
  • Supported a new YMCA development in Maryvale, AZ[20] along with several local mentoring and ministry programs
  • Was principle donor in the "Friess Family Community Campus," at Rice Lake High School, a $3.7 Million complex featuring a football field, WIAA-approved track, a baseball field, and a softball field.[21]
  • Currently, Foster and Lynn Friess are actively raising money to help orphans in Haiti. The couple have committed to matching all donations to the Haiti Renewal Fund up to $2 million.


  1. Robert Barker (2001-07-16). Buy-and-Hold Isn't His Style. Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Retrieved on 2011-09-19.
  2. FRIESS ASSOCIATES. (2011-08-08). Retrieved on 2011-09-19.
  3. FRIESS ASSOCIATES: AMG Partnership. Retrieved on 2011-09-19.
  4. Atlas Economic Research Foundation :: ATLAS FREEDOM DINNER 2004Template:Dead link
  5. Foster S. Friess (2002-05-11). What Kind of Society is Good for Business and Investing?. Retrieved on 2011-09-19.
  6. Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership | HOBYTemplate:Dead link
  7. The Fund for American Studies - Alumni
  8. Medals of Distinction / UDconnection
  9. WyoFile - Foster Friess]
  10. " Wealthy Wyoming investment fund manager bankrolling pro-Santorum Super PAC," by Michael Isikoff , NBC News
  11. Gavin Aronsen, "The Koch Brothers' Million-Dollar Donor Club", Mother Jones, September 6, 2011
  12. WyoFile - Foster Friess]
  13. Walker's Out-Of-State Supporters, Opponents Bill Lueders, Ashland Current - December 24, 2011
  14. A Gift With Strings Ties Up a Town, James Brooke, New York Times, August 23, 1997
  15. " Wealthy Wyoming investment fund manager bankrolling pro-Santorum Super PAC," by Michael Isikoff , NBC News
  16. Media Notes: A look at Tucker Carlson's political Web site, the Daily Caller
  17. Lynn and Foster Friess Family Foundation. Retrieved on 2011-09-19.
  18. Mobile Medical Clinics. Retrieved on 2011-09-19.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Foster Friess. Retrieved on 2011-09-19.
  20. Debons, Amanda (2008-04-07). Opening of Maryvale YMCA celebrated. Retrieved on 2011-09-19.
  21. Board of Education - Buildings and Grounds Committee. Retrieved on 2011-09-19.

External links