Richard Marvin Devos, Jr, (Dick) heir to the Amway empire and husband of our new Secretary of Education, Besty Devos was born in October, 1955 in Michigan to wealthy Richard Devos, Sr. The elder Devos is co-founder of Amway and once owner of the Orlando Magic Basketball team. A graduate of Northwood University Dick, is the father to four grown children, two boys and two girls.
After earning his bachelor degree in business administration at Northwood, Dick was accepted to Harvard University, and the Wharton’s School of Executive Study Program; however, he did not graduate. He does have honorary PhDs from Grove City College, Central Michigan University and Northwood University.
Dick’s professional career began at an early age as he recalls the young Amway business beginnings in his basement, where everyone participated in some aspect of its development. In 1974, he “officially” became a member of the Amway team learning about the different divisions. Ten years later he was made a vice president and oversaw international operations, which accounted for about five percent of the company’s revenue. When Dick left his Amway position in 1991, foreign sales exceeded domestic sales for the first time in Amway history. Dick retired from Amway in 2002 after returning to those roots in 1993.
Today, Dick has remained an active leader and philanthropist through his efforts with the Devos Family Foundation. Although, they prefer not to be highlighted for their philanthropic generosity, they recently revealed more insights into their $139 million lifetime donations. Some have estimated their charitable donations to exceed $1 billion. It’s a family affair that began with Dick’s parents and now extends to his children and their spouses. Through five family foundations, they have long been contributors to republican politics and campaigning efforts. However, their stance on public education is another passionate cause. To help individuals who may live in the “wrong zip code,” and not to condemn the current educational process, the DeVos’ simply see a need for some improvement. Education can be more than a “one size fits all” effort. Their generous giving’s also include the arts and culture industry.