Richard A. Viguerie pioneered the use of political direct mail/ direct marketing. Viguerie transformed American politics in the 1960s and ’70s by pioneering the use of direct mail in the political and ideological spheres, which allowed conservatives to go around the liberal media blockage right into people’s homes. He used direct mail marketing to help build the conservative movement, which then elected Ronald Reagan as the first conservative president of the modern era.
Viguerie is the chairman of American Target Advertising, a 57-year-old direct marketing agency with 90 team members located in Northern Virginia. Viguerie’s company has mailed more than 4.6 billion letters for hundreds of conservative candidates and organizations and raised about $8 billion for conservative causes.
Mr. Viguerie and his wife, Elaine, have been married for sixty years. They have three children and six grandchildren and live in the Virginia countryside on 230 conservative-friendly acres.
Here’s what America’s conservative leaders say about how Richard Viguerie’s target marketing methods helped build today’s modern conservative movement.
NEWT GINGRICH – Former House Speaker
“He is one of the genuine pioneers of modern American politics. He went out and figured out some very complicated things and then applied them to a cause he believed in—a cause that I am proud to have worked with him on. The fact is, he really invented the use of direct mail by Republicans and conservatives.”
BARRY GOLDWATER, JR. – Former Congressman
“He is the catalyst that allowed conservatism to reach the pinnacles that it has over these past many years. He was on the ground floor with YAF, with Reagan, with Goldwater. He was there with his envelopes and his stamps, and a fast tongue, and sent out thousands and thousands of letters to people to raise the money that allowed conservatism to be such a powerful force in today’s politics.”
MORTON BLACKWELL – President, Leadership Institute
“The truth is I couldn’t have gotten my Institute off the ground without what I learned from him. Even if he had not decided to go public, his prowess would have made him a public figure. Without any doubt, Richard Viguerie is the Funding Father of the conservative movement. When he fights in the public policy process, his weight is always felt.”
DR. LEE EDWARDS – Heritage Foundation
“He is a man of integrity with a sharp mind, and he is able to get to the heart of an issue very quickly and easily. Richard has been making a profound difference—not only in fundraising, but in American politics—for decades. He’s been able to help the causes he supports to gain notoriety and influence.”
CHUCK MUTH – President, Citizen Outreach
“When interviewing potential campaign managers or general consultants, the first question you should ask is, ‘What do you know about Richard Viguerie?’ If they’ve never heard of him, you can end the interview right then and there.”
HON. KEN CUCCINELLI – Former Attorney General of Virginia
“Richard Viguerie is simply the best! He and his talented staff enabled us to set fundraising records that helped carry us to victory in November.”
DAVID KEENE – Former President, National Rifle Association
“He has left his print on every aspect of the conservative movement, from its infancy to today.”
ROGER STONE – New York Times Bestselling Author, Political Consultant
“Richard Viguerie is probably the greatest political copywriter in American history. If you understand copywriting, you understand political communication. He really is the godfather of the conservative movement.”
RICHARD ARMSTRONG – Author, The Next Hurrah: The Communications Revolution in American Politics
“…we talk a lot about changing your life with copywriting. But Richard Viguerie did more than just change his life: He changed the world. When Barry Goldwater lost the presidential election to Lyndon Johnson in 1964, most political experts thought the conservative movement in America was dead and buried. But Richard Viguerie went to the Board of Elections and copied (by hand!) the names and addresses of thousands of Goldwater donors. He used that mailing list not only to create one of the most successful direct-mail fundraising agencies in history, but also to build a new conservative movement in America that ultimately resulted in the election of Ronald Reagan and changed the face of American politics forever. Richard Viguerie is one of the most brilliant copywriters who ever lived, a truly iconic figure in the history of direct marketing, and a living testament to the power of copywriting to make a difference in the world.”
Here’s what others, including media, say about Richard Viguerie’s effectiveness.
THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE
“Richard Viguerie, the direct mail impresario…may have understood the value of a name before anyone else in contemporary politics.”
ALEXANDER COCKBURN – The Nation
He is “one of the creators of the modern conservative movement.”
ANDREW COCKBURN – Harpers Magazine
“If any one man can be credited with creating the conservative movement that now exercises such a power over the Republican Party, it is Viguerie.
THE WASHINGTON POST
He is “the conservatives’ ‘Voice of America’.”
THE BALTIMORE SUN
He is “the architect of the New Right.”
“The father of political DM [direct marketing].”
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF POLITICAL CONSULTANTS
“Viguerie motivated millions of Americans to participate in politics for the first time, greatly expanding the base of active citizenship. He is our era’s equivalent of Tom Paine, using a direct mail letter rather than a pamphlet to deliver his call to arms. George magazine credited this as one of the defining political movements of the 20th century.”