Philanthropist / Publisher
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Financial backer of U.S. conservative political causes
Richard Mellon Scaife was born into the wealth of the American oil and banking Mellon family, and as a young man he oversaw many of their philanthropic foundations. In 1969 he went into the newspaper business as owner and publisher of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He contributed to the presidential campaigns of Republicans Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon, and in the 1980s and '90s became a powerful force in American conservative politics. Scaife is a trustee of several organizations committed to conservative and Christian causes, including The Heritage Foundation, the Sarah Scaife Foundation, The Allegheny Foundation and the Carthage Foundation. The conservative, populist magazine The American Spectator was financed largely by Scaife in the 1990s, who supported their efforts to dig up dirt on President Bill Clinton. Although Clinton was impeached, he remained in office, The American Spectator fell on hard times and Scaife withdrew his financial support.