Entrepreneur and philanthropist Richard “Dick” DeVos comes from a family that believes in giving back. The ultra-rich family — and owners of the Amway fortune — have given hundreds of millions to a number of worthwhile causes both in their home state of Michigan, as well as throughout the United States.
DeVos served as CEO of Amway for 12 years. He also ran the Orlando Magic basketball, which was purchased by his family in 1992. Needing to make his own mark, DeVos stepped down as CEO of both companies to start his own company: The Windquest Group.
DeVos credits his upbringing for shaping his compassion for others. Although he came from an affluent background, he was always taught the importance of helping others who in need.
He and his wife Betsy are at the forefront of providing quality education for all, regardless of socioeconomic background. DeVos is a firm believer of charter schools and school choice.
DeVos opened the West Michigan Aviation Academy in 2015. This school is attended by children who are interested in aviation, math and science. He also successfully ran for a position on the Michigan State Board of Education in 1990.
DeVos also delved into politics in the 2000s. He ran against incumbent governor Jennifer Granholm. Although he developed a huge following, and the polls showed his numbers narrowing towards the end, he ended up losing by 9 points. The stinging loss didn’t swear DeVos off politics. In fact, he says he may very well run again in the future.
The Richard and Betsy DeVos Philanthropic Foundation is still giving time and money to charitable causes.
DeVos lives outside of Grand Rapids with his wife Betsy. They have five grown children.