Viguerie's Career

1965 – Richard A. Viguerie founds the Richard A. Viguerie Company with a mailing list of 12,500 conservative, political donors. He and one employee set up shop in a small room above a fraternal lodge. Within one year, the list multiplies tenfold to 125,000 names.

1969 – The Richard A. Viguerie Company (also known as RAVCO) begins attracting national recognition for its ability to raise funds for conservative causes. As The Plain Dealer of Cleveland, OH, reports, “The name of the game is names and Viguerie has them.”

1975 – The Richard A. Viguerie Company continues to build its list not based on just wealthy donors, but on large numbers of low-dollar contributors to conservative appeals. Newsweek writes, “One acknowledged wizard of collecting $10 and $25 donations is Richard Viguerie." This approach finally gives a voice to millions of Americans who previously were unable to participate in the national debate on issues affecting their daily lives.

1979 – The Richard A. Viguerie Company becomes The Viguerie Company. TIMEmagazine names Viguerie one of 50 Faces for America’s Future, calling him “a dedicated conservative who helps shape the movement’s strategy.”

1981 – Richard Viguerie is named one of People magazine’s 25 Most Intriguing People of 1981. His influence is seen from coast to coast and throughout the political arena. Phil Smith, then in charge of direct mail for the Republican National Committee tells the San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle, “A lot of techniques we use now were pioneered by Viguerie.”

1982 – Richard Viguerie is credited with the defeat of many Democratic candidates. Mervyn Dymally, former Lt. Governor of California says of his 1982 reelection defeat, “My undoing was started two years ago in the suburbs of Washington by Viguerie and in the suburbs of Los Angeles by the Reagan kitchen cabinet.”

1984 – Viguerie’s continuing influence in elections was underscored by former Congressman Jerry Patterson (D – CA) who explains after his loss in 1984, “When you lose an election, you think, ‘If only Ronald Reagan wasn’t on the ballot,’ or ‘if only he hadn’t had Richard Viguerie and his mass-mailing operation out in Falls Church, I would have won.’”

1994 – Viguerie’s marketing and list companies (ATA and AMLC) impact political elections, helping lead to the conservative sweep of Congress. A 2004 Directmagazine article titled View from the DM Right credits Richard Viguerie with “…develop[ing] the direct mail art that elected Ronald Reagan and enabled the GOP to take Congress in 1994.”

1999 – Richard Viguerie’s historic achievements are recognized in The Washington Times, which names him one of thirteen “Conservatives of the Century”. The article states, “Mr. Viguerie became king of political direct mail and provided conservatives with an essential tool to raise money, communicate ideas, and motivate people.”

2003 – The Washington Times’ James Martin notes, “Before Rush [Limbaugh], conservatives for nearly 40 years looked to Richard Viguerie, the funding father of the conservative movement, for the right word on policy and politics. Before Mr. Limbaugh, it was Mr. Viguerie whose mail was delivered over hill and dale, through rain, sleet, and snow, to conservative donors and activists, prodding them to take action.”

2008 – Newsmax names Richard Viguerie one of their 25 Most Influential Republicans, a list of those described as “the inside players, the deal makers, and the power brokers” who aren’t part of the official party hierarchy, nor particularly well-known to the public. The article explains, “Known for his willingness to buck the Republican establishment, Viguerie prides himself on . . . blowing the whistle when the Party fails to live up to conservative principles.”

Today – Richard A. Viguerie is the Chairman of American Target Advertising, Inc., of American Mailing Lists Corporation which includes Viguerie Political Lists, and of The Viguerie Company. He is the founder of ConservativeHQ, an online headquarters for conservative activists. In 2004 he wrote America’s Right Turn: How Conservatives Used New and Alternative Media to Take Power (Bonus Books, 2004). 

Richard and his wife Elaine have three children and six grandchildren. They reside on a farm in northern Virginia.

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