Richard Viguerie transformed American politics in the 1960s and 70s by pioneering the use of direct mail fundraising in the political and ideological spheres, which allowed conservatives to go around the liberal media blockage, right into people’s homes. He used direct mail marketing/fundraising to help build the conservative movement, which then elected Ronald Reagan as the first conservative president of the modern era.
As the “Funding Father of the conservative movement,” Viguerie motivated millions of Americans to participate in politics for the first time, greatly expanding the base of active citizenship. He is our era’s equivalent of Tom Paine but using a direct mail letter rather than a pamphlet to deliver his call to arms. George, “John F Kennedy Jr.’s” magazine, credited this as one of the defining political moments of the 20th century.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said about Viguerie, “He is one of the genuine pioneers of modern American politics. He really invented the use of direct mail by Republicans and by conservatives.” Former Congressman Barry Goldwater, Jr. said, “He is the catalyst that allowed conservatism to reach the pinnacles that it has over these past many years…to raise the money that has allowed conservatism to be such a powerful force in today’s politics.”
Viguerie is the Chairman of American Target Advertising™, Inc., a 75-person direct marketing agency located in Northern Virginia. His firm has mailed more than 4.6 billion letters and raised over $7.6 billion dollars over the past 55 years. They mailed over 100 million postal letters in 2019 and expect to mail many more in 2020, as the Presidential Election approaches. Viguerie is also Chairman of FedUp PAC, an independent expenditure political action committee, and publisher of the conservative website, ConservativeHQ.com.
The AFL-CIO News has said that Viguerie “made it all possible” for conservatives, and The Washington Post has called him “the conservatives’ Voice of America.” In 1979, Time magazine named him one of 50 future leaders of America, and People magazine named him one of the 25 most intriguing people of the year in 1981. In December 1999 he was named by Dr. Lee Edwards in the Washington Times as one of 13 “Conservatives of the Century.”
Now even in his 8th decade, his role model is Moses, Deuteronomy 34:7, “Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eye was not dim nor his natural force abated.” Viguerie doesn’t personally know anyone at any age that keeps up with him. His typical workday is 13-14 hours, 5 ½ days a week.
He also believes it’s important to be actively involved in numerous “communities”—some of his include St. Peter Catholic Church, the Front Porch—a Sunday morning get together of locals on the front porch of a local restaurant, a weekly get together with residents at an assisted living facility, and 3-4 others.
Viguerie and his wife, Elaine, are natives of Houston, Texas, and have been married for 57 years. They have three children and six grandchildren and live in the Virginia countryside on 230 acres of conservative-friendly environment.