Richard M. DeVos, Sr.
In 1959, Rich DeVos founded Amway Corp. with his lifelong friend and business partner, the late Jay Van Andel. The direct selling company now operates in more than 80 countries and territories around the world, and enables more than 3 million people to own independent businesses. In 2000, Amway became a subsidiary of Alticor with sister companies Quixtar, Inc. and Access Business Group LLC. In 2007, Alticor announced it would reintroduce the Amway brand over the next two years to the North American market, as part of an overall business transformation.
DeVos and his family own the National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise Orlando Magic. He is the author of four books: Believe!, Compassionate Capitalism, Hope from My Heart: Ten Lessons for Life, and Ten Powerful Phrases for Powerful People. A renowned speaker, he has appeared before hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. His recorded talk, “Selling America,” received the Alexander Hamilton Award for Economic Education from the Freedoms Foundation. After receiving a heart transplant in 1997, he became chairman of the Speakers Bureau for United Network for Organ Sharing.
DeVos and his wife, Helen, generously support hospitals, colleges and universities, arts organizations, and Christian causes in their hometown of Grand Rapids, Mich., and they support numerous organizations in Central Florida. Among the many institutions they have helped create are Helen DeVos Children's Hospital, the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences, the DeVos Communications Center at Calvin College, the DeVos Campus of Grand Valley State University, and the DeVos Place convention center. Florida contributions include the DeVos Sport Business Management Program at the University of Central Florida, and the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation.
DeVos is a graduate of Grand Rapids Christian High School and attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. He served in the United States Army Air Corps from 1944 to 1946.
Rich and Helen have four children and 16 grandchildren. Their youngest son, Doug, is president of Amway.