Congressional Record: A Tribute to Rich Devos

Mon Mar. 24, 1997 4:00 AM EST

Ed. Note: The following has been excerpted verbatim from the Congressional Record, an account of the debates, proceedings, and activities of the United States Congress. The Record is fully searchable from THOMAS, but its daily editions are only archived in temporary files.

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TRIBUTE TO RICH DEVOS (Senate - July 19, 1996)

[Page: S8383]

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Mr. ABRAHAM. Mr. President, last night Rich DeVos was honored in Detroit at the National Republican Leadership Award Dinner. Unfortunately, votes here in the Senate prevented me from attending. I am particularly sorry to have missed this event because I hold Rich in the highest possible esteem. His life's story is a continuing series of examples to us all of strong character, hard work, and principled generosity.

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After serving his country in the Air Force in World War II, Rich co-founded a flying school and commercial air charter service with Jay Van Andel. Three years later he co-founded an import business with the same partner. In 1959, he and his partner founded the Amway Corp. That venture grew to be one of the world's largest direct selling companies, recording $6.3 billion in sales last year. Rich is also owner and chairman of the NBA's Orlando Magic basketball team.

Having succeeded through his own hard work, Rich has devoted more and more of his time to helping others. His speeches and books spread the word about compassionate capitalism, and he leads by example. He serves on numerous boards, including service as chairman of Gospel Films and the Butterworth Health Corp. He has given freely of his time and money for charitable organizations such as the National Organization on Disability, and for the cause of political and economic liberty.

Rich is the recipient of literally dozens of prestigious awards, including the Adam Smith Free Enterprise Award from the American Legislative Exchange Council and the William Booth Award from the Salvation Army. He is a great friend to liberty, a great servant to those in need and a great credit to the state of Michigan. I, for one, have always been inspired by his work and his character; Rich DeVos is indeed one of our Nation's true heroes.

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