Jackson, Wyoming , United States
|| April 02, 1940
Apr 20, 2018 05:26pm
|Info||Foster Friess is a first-generation college graduate. His mother dropped out of school in the eighth grade to pick cotton in order to save the family farm in Texas. His father dealt cattle and horses. |
At the University of Wisconsin, Foster earned a degree in business administration, served as president of his fraternity, was named one of the “ten most outstanding senior men,” and won the heart of “Badger Beauty” and Chi Omega president Lynnette Estes, whom he married in 1962. Two sons, two daughters, and fifteen grandchildren followed.
Foster trained as an Infantry Platoon Leader and proudly served as an Intelligence Officer for the First Guided Missile Brigade in El Paso, TX. In 1974, Foster and Lynn launched Friess Associates. The firm’s flagship, the Brandywine Fund, averaged 20 percent annual gains in the 1990s, causing Forbes magazine to name it one of the decade’s top mutual funds. CNBC dubbed Foster one of the “century’s great investors.”
Amidst this professional success, Foster says that his personal life struggled. Behind the scenes, he had “a marriage flirting with divorce and emotionally distant children.” Facing these challenges Foster says, “I invited Jesus to become the ‘Chairman of the Board; of my life,” a decision to which he credits all subsequent successes, including those which saw the firm grow to a $15 billion portfolio and his personal relationships restored.
Foster has devoted significant resources to philanthropy. In 1999, the “Champ” himself awarded Foster the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award, and in 2000, at the National Charity Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C., Foster was named the “Humanitarian of the Year,” following in the footsteps of Coretta Scott King, Bob Hope, President George H.W. Bush, and Lady Bird Johnson.
Lynn and Foster gain their philanthropic inspiration from Galatians 6:2: “When we carry one another’s burdens we fulfill the law of Christ.” From supporting families of disabled children in Jackson, Wyoming, to assisting victims of Hurricane Katrina and the Haitian earthquake, Lynn and Foster engage in a wide scope of philanthropic activities.
Foster believes that private individuals are called to carry others’ burdens–rather than relying on the government to do so. In 1997, Foster told the organizers of the Grand Teton Musical Festival he would give them $40,000 if they refused $11,000 in government funding. They took him up on his offer.
Foster works to promote the Founding Father principles of free enterprise, limited constitutional government, fiscal responsibility, and traditional American values. He believes we can find effective, innovative private sector solutions to many of the problems we face.