Foster S. Friess passed away peacefully today, May 27th, surrounded by his family.
A visionary investor and pioneer of growth stock picking, Foster’s business story started with $800 of accumulated U.S. Army leave pay. Friess Associates’ high-performing Brandywine Fund led both CNBC and Fox News’ Neil Cavuto to dub Foster one of the “century’s great investors,” and Forbes magazine named him, along with Warren Buffet, Peter Lynch, and John Templeton, among the ten most successful money managers of this generation.
Donating more the $500 million in his lifetime, Foster and his wife Lynn’s philanthropy spans the globe: aiding towns ravaged by natural disasters, providing fresh water to remote villages, supporting the front lines of the battle against ISIS, and helping thousands recovering from addiction.
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. Foster’s commitment to Galatians 6:2: Carry one another’s burdens, in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ, led the “Champ” himself to award Foster the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award.
Foster’s family released the following statement:
“We are grateful for the wonderful life Foster lived and thankful to the many people who have shared their prayers during his illness. We know many of you mourn with us, and we will have more details soon on Foster’s funeral.”
Remembrance services will be held in Scottsdale, Arizona, Jackson, Wyoming, and Rice Lake, Wisconsin.
Foster S. Friess grew up in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, 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.
Foster was an early civil rights activist and, as a young man, confronted motel owners in his hometown of Rice Lake, Wisconsin, encouraging them to accommodate minorities. Foster was valedictorian, class president, student council president, and captain of his basketball, track, golf, and baseball teams.
At the University of Wisconsin, Foster earned a degree in business administration, served as president of his fraternity, and was named one of the “ten most outstanding senior men.” As president of the Kappa Chapter of the Chi Phi Fraternity, he welcomed their first Jewish member. Foster also 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 was trained as an Army Infantry Platoon Leader and served as an Intelligence Officer for the guided-missile brigade in El Paso, Texas. In 1965, with just $800 of accumulated leave pay, Foster, wife Lynn, and infant daughter moved to Wilmington, Delaware where he began his investment career with Brittingham, Inc., leaving in 1974 to launch Friess Associates. Their first client was the Nobel Foundation of Stockholm, Sweden.
The firm’s flagship Brandywine Fund averaged 20 percent annual gains in the 1990s, leading Forbes magazine to name it one of the decade’s top mutual funds. CNBC dubbed Foster one of the “century’s great investors,” and Fox News’ Neil Cavuto called him “one of the greatest value investors to have ever lived.” In June of 2018, Foster was mentioned by Forbes, along with Warren Buffet, Peter Lynch, and John Templeton, to be among the ten most successful money managers of this generation.
Foster and Lynn have devoted over $500 million to philanthropy. In 1999, the “Champ” himself awarded Foster the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award. In 2000, at the National Charity Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C., Foster was named the “Humanitarian of the Year,” following the footsteps of Coretta Scott King, Bob Hope, President George H.W. Bush, and Lady Bird Johnson.
Foster gained his philanthropic inspiration from Galatians 6:2: Carry one another’s burdens, in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Foster and Lynn engaged in a broad scope of philanthropic activities; supporting families of disabled children in Wyoming, helping provide safe drinking water to third world countries, assisting victims of Hurricane Katrina, the Sri Lanka tsunami, and the Haitian earthquake.
Partnering with Tucker Carlson, Foster launched the Daily Caller. In 2012, Foster met Charlie Kirk, and was instrumental in the launch of Turning PointUSA. That same year, he was inducted into the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. The Horatio Alger Award symbolizes personal initiative and perseverance, leadership and commitment to excellence, belief in the free-enterprise system, the importance of higher education, community service, and the vision and determination to achieve a better future.
In 2018, Foster launched Foster’s Outriders with the mission to promote principles of free enterprise, limited constitutional government, fiscal responsibility, and traditional American values. Working with Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, the foundation strives to unite Americans from all backgrounds around issues we can all agree on.
In 2021, President Donald Trump, Senator Jim DeMint, and Congressman Mark Meadows presented Foster with the Conservative Lifetime Achievement Award.
Foster leaves behind his wife of 58 years, Lynnette, and their four children, Traci and husband, Fausto, Stephen and wife, Polly, Carrie, and Michael and wife, Fanny. Foster and Lynn have 15 grandchildren. Foster is also survived by his brother Herman and sister-in-law, Judy.
Editors Note: Foster Friess provided the original funding of Cowboy State Daily in January 2019.