Richard DeVos Sr. was on born on March 4, 1926, in Grand Rapids.
DeVos attended Calvin College and was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. He served in World War II in the U.S. Army Air Corps.
DeVos became a billionaire businessman, co-founder of Amway with Jay Van Andel and owner of the National Basketball Association’s Orlando Magic basketball team. He co-founded the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, an American conservative foundation and grant-making body in 1970.
The DeVoses have played a huge role in Republican politics and the education choice movement both in Michigan and nationwide. They were the most generous Michigan family in the 2018 cycle, as the Advance reported, doling out more than $11 million primarily to Republicans and conservative causes.
In 2012, Forbes magazine listed him as the 60th wealthiest person in the United States and the 205th richest in the world, with an estimated net worth of $5.1 billion.
His son, Dick DeVos, unsuccessfully ran as a Republican for Michigan governor in 2006, losing to incumbent Gov. Jennifer Granholm.
DeVos’ wife, Betsy DeVos, has been a powerhouse in state politics for many years. She’s a former Michigan Republican Party chair and the current U.S. Department of Education secretary.
Helen DeVos died in 2017. Richard DeVos Sr. died last October at age 92.