Richard DeVos Net Worth

Read more about Richard DeVos Biography

Richard DeVos grew up during the Great Depression, which he says taught him to waste nothing and make the most of every opportunity that came his way. He was educated at Grand Rapids Christian High School, and then Calvin College – he is still committed to the Reformed Church – after which he served in the USAAF from 1944-46. He had any number of relatively menial jobs over the next several years, even getting together with long-time friend from school Jay Van Andel in trying their luck at running a drive-in diner, with very limited success, if they didn’t quite go broke, but his net worth wasn’t rising much at all. Other ventures included an air charter service, sailing business, and a hamburger stand, but the boys weren’t getting ahead.

Rich’s breakthrough of a lifetime occurred in 1949 when, after meeting with Nitrilite food supplements founder Carl Rehnborg, they began by selling the product in Michigan. Rich and Jay founded the Ja-Ri Corporation, simply selling Nitrilite and cleaning products door-to-door, but in 10 years they developed a network of 5,000 distributors, and with some concerns regarding the continued vialibilty of Nitrilite,  changed the to Amway (the American Way) in 1959, and branched out on their own. Finally, in 1999 the company became a subsidiary of Alticor in 1999. Rich and his partner Jay effectively built their company from a penny-deal start to its status today, with Amway achieving over $11 billion in sales annually. They began by selling Nitrilite plus personal and home care products, later expanding into cosmetics, dietary supplements, water and air purifiers, jewellery, electronics, and insurance. Regrettably, Jay passed away in 2004 from the effects of Parkinson’s disease.

Rich DeVos’ other main interest is sports. He was initially involved with three ice hockey teams, but when the International League collapsed, he attempted to switch to baseball teams, before buying the NBA Orlando Magic basketball team for $85 million in 1991. The team is now valued at close to $900 million, not a bad return for his initial investment, or making some money on the side from a genuine interest, which added to his already substantial net worth.

Such has been DeVos’ investment in the Orlando Magic, added to his business acquisitions, that he is the second richest sports club owner in the world, behind only Microsoft founder Paul Allen.

Rich DeVos is also something of an author, and not only about business topics. After undergoing heart transplant surgery in 1997, he wrote “Hope From My Heart: Ten Lessons for Life”  – he had earlier been through two by-pass operations. DeVos had already released “Believe!” in 1975, detailing the successful creation of Amway from scratch. He then produced ” Compassionate Capitalism” in 1993, proposing that business can proper with a compassionate face, as necessary. These certainly helped his net worth, if in a small way in comparison with his other income.

In his personal life, Richard DeVos married Helen Van Wesep in 1953, and they have three sons and a daughter, all of whom hold executive positions in Amway/Alticor. He has been a long-time sports fan, and is also a strong supporter of the Republican party.

Structural info

  • Net Worth: $7 Billion
  • Date Of Birth: March 4, 1926
  • Place Of Birth: Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
  • Profession: Businessperson, Writer
  • Education: Calvin College, Grand Rapids Christian High School
  • Nationality: American
  • Spouse: Helen DeVos (m. 1953)
  • Children: Dick DeVos
  • Nicknames: Rich DeVos , Річ ДеВос , Девос, Ричард М. , 理查·狄维士