Celle Monzon

Written by Celle Monzon

Modified & Updated: 30 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

Source: Mlive.com

Richard DeVos was a prominent figure in the business world and a well-known philanthropist. As the co-founder of Amway Corporation, he built a vast empire and left an indelible mark on the direct selling industry. However, there are plenty of surprising facts about his life and accomplishments that many people may not be aware of. From his humble beginnings to his immense wealth, Richard DeVos had a fascinating journey that is worth exploring. In this article, we will delve into 17 surprising facts about Richard DeVos, shedding light on both his personal and professional life. So, prepare to be amazed and discover some lesser-known aspects of this remarkable individual.

Key Takeaways:

  • Richard Devos co-founded Amway Corporation, was a billionaire, and owned the Orlando Magic NBA team. He was a generous philanthropist, a published author, and a dedicated supporter of education.
  • Richard Devos had a passion for aviation, supported the revitalization of downtown Grand Rapids, and left a lasting legacy. He was a family man, a proud Michigander, and had a lifelong commitment to entrepreneurship.
Table of Contents

Richard Devos co-founded Amway Corporation.

Richard Devos, along with his longtime business partner Jay Van Andel, founded the successful multi-level marketing company Amway Corporation in Amway has since become one of the largest direct-selling companies in the world, offering a wide range of products in various industries.

Richard Devos was a billionaire.

Richard Devos had a remarkable net worth of over $5 billion, making him one of the wealthiest individuals in the world. His success with Amway and other business ventures contributed to his immense wealth, allowing him to make significant philanthropic contributions during his lifetime.

Richard Devos was an influential philanthropist.

Beyond his business accomplishments, Devos was known for his generous philanthropic efforts. He and his wife, Helen Devos, dedicated substantial amounts of their wealth to support various causes, including education, healthcare, and arts organizations.

Richard Devos owned the Orlando Magic NBA team.

As a sports enthusiast, Richard Devos purchased the Orlando Magic NBA franchise in Under his ownership, the team saw significant success, reaching the NBA Finals in 1995 and becoming a prominent organization in the league.

Richard Devos served as the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

In recognition of his business acumen and leadership, Devos was elected as the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in He held this position for a two-year term, representing and advocating for the interests of American businesses.

Richard Devos was an owner of multiple professional sports teams.

Besides the Orlando Magic, Devos also owned the Orlando Solar Bears hockey team and held minority stakes in the Chicago Cubs baseball team and the Detroit Tigers baseball team. His involvement in sports demonstrated his passion for the industry.

Richard Devos was a dedicated supporter of education.

Education was a cause close to Devos’ heart. He and his family established various scholarships and educational initiatives to provide opportunities for students to pursue their dreams and receive quality education.

Richard Devos was a published author.

Devos shared his experiences and knowledge through writing. He co-authored books such as “Believe!” and “Ten Powerful Phrases for Positive People,” aiming to inspire and motivate individuals to achieve their goals.

Richard Devos was involved in politics.

Devos had a keen interest in politics and actively supported Republican candidates and causes. He served as the finance chairman for the Republican National Committee and contributed significant funds to political campaigns.

Richard Devos received numerous awards and honors.

Throughout his life, Richard Devos was recognized for his contributions to business, philanthropy, and society. He received prestigious awards such as the Horatio Alger Award and the National Constitution Center’s Liberty Medal.

Richard Devos had a passion for aviation.

Devos had a fascination with aviation and held a pilot’s license. He enjoyed flying his private planes and embraced the freedom and adventure that aviation provided.

Richard Devos supported the revitalization of downtown Grand Rapids.

Devos played a crucial role in the revitalization of his hometown, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Through various initiatives and investments, he helped transform the city into a vibrant and thriving cultural destination.

Richard Devos was a member of the Forbes 400 list.

With his significant wealth and business success, Devos consistently ranked among the wealthiest individuals in the United States. He was a prominent figure on the prestigious Forbes 400 list.

Richard Devos was a family man.

Beyond his professional achievements, Devos cherished his family. He was married to Helen Devos for over 60 years and had four children and numerous grandchildren.

Richard Devos had a lifelong commitment to entrepreneurship.

Devos believed in the power of entrepreneurship and encouraged others to pursue their business dreams. He provided mentorship and support to aspiring entrepreneurs, sharing his wisdom and experience.

Richard Devos left a lasting legacy.

Richard Devos’ impact on the business world, philanthropy, sports, and various communities is undeniable. His legacy continues to inspire and influence generations to come.

Richard Devos was a proud Michigander.

Devos remained deeply connected to his roots in Michigan and actively supported economic development and cultural initiatives within the state.


Richard DeVos was a remarkable individual who made a significant impact in various fields, from entrepreneurship to philanthropy. As the co-founder of Amway and a renowned business magnate, he achieved immense success in the business world. Beyond his professional achievements, DeVos was also well-known for his philanthropic efforts, supporting initiatives in education, healthcare, and the arts.

Throughout his life, DeVos remained committed to his values and passions, leaving behind a lasting legacy. His entrepreneurial spirit, unwavering determination, and dedication to giving back to the community serve as an inspiration to many. Whether it was his innovative business strategies, his dedication to empowering others, or his unwavering commitment to philanthropy, Richard DeVos will be remembered as a true visionary.


1. What were Richard DeVos’ notable achievements?

Richard DeVos achieved tremendous success as the co-founder of Amway, one of the world’s largest direct-selling companies. He built a global empire, revolutionizing the way products are sold and distributed. Additionally, he was known for his philanthropic efforts, particularly in the areas of education and healthcare.

2. How did Richard DeVos impact the business world?

Richard DeVos played a pivotal role in transforming the direct-selling industry through his innovative business strategies. He pioneered the concept of network marketing and built Amway into a billion-dollar company. His entrepreneurial successes and leadership skills have left an indelible mark on the business world.

3. What philanthropic initiatives was Richard DeVos involved in?

Richard DeVos was deeply committed to giving back to the community. He and his family established the DeVos Foundation, which supported various causes, including education, healthcare, and the arts. DeVos contributed generously to initiatives focused on improving schools, providing scholarships, and promoting access to quality healthcare for all.

4. What made Richard DeVos a visionary?

Richard DeVos exhibited visionary qualities through his ability to identify opportunities and his relentless pursuit of success. He had a keen foresight in recognizing the potential of direct-selling and network marketing, which eventually led to the phenomenal growth of Amway. Additionally, his commitment to philanthropy showcased his forward-thinking approach in addressing societal issues and creating positive change.

5. How will Richard DeVos be remembered?

Richard DeVos will be remembered as a successful entrepreneur, a philanthropist, and a visionary leader. His immense contributions to the business world and charitable endeavors have left an enduring impact. He will be admired for his determination, generosity, and dedication to making the world a better place for future generations.

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