Bob Perry: Present at the Creation of a Political Movement

by Stuart Rothenberg April 18, 2013 · 11:53 AM EDT

Reports about the recent death of millionaire home builder and Republican donor Bob Perry, 80, have noted his financial support for George W. Bush and Rick Perry during their campaigns for governor of Texas, and his financial bankrolling of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which took on Democrat John Kerry during his 2004 campaign for the White House.

But Perry was also an early and crucial funder of conservative Paul M. Weyrich in the late 1970s and 1980s, when Weyrich and a handful of other conservatives launched a new political movement, The New Right. Among other things, Weyrich, who died in 2008, helped woo politically conservative evangelicals into the political wars some 35 years ago, thereby changing the face of American politics and modern conservatism.

Weyrich’s impact on American politics would have been dramatically reduced without the financial backing of both Perry and multi-millionaire conservative Richard Mellon Scaife.