This morning Richard A. Ware passed away at the age of ninety-five. It was with great sadness that ISI received this news, for few people outside the organization have had such a profound or long-lasting impact on ISI as Richard. Friend, mentor, supporter, adviser: he was all these things and more to the ISI team for more than a half century.
Born in New York City on November 7, 1919, Richard received his bachelor’s degree from Lehigh University before earning his master’s in public administration from Wayne State University. During the Second World War he served in the U.S. Army Air Corps, and after the war he began working for the Citizens Research Council. He is perhaps best known for his work with the Earhart and Relm foundations, where he was a leader for decades, becoming president in 1970. During the Nixon administration, Richard took time off from his foundation duties to serve as principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs and then in the office of the assistant secretary of defense. He was a longtime ISI trustee as well.
On learning of Richard’s passing, ISI president Chris Long said: “Up until recent weeks, I was delighted to receive frequent encouragement and wise counsel from Richard, who was always good about reading and responding to the letters, articles, and books I sent him. I am especially grateful that the ISI trustees unanimously and enthusiastically recognized Richard as an emeritus trustee. No one contributed more to ISI’s long-term success, especially its Richard M. Weaver graduate fellowship program, than Richard Ware.”
Indeed, Richard has had an incalculable influence on our organization and on generations of ISI student leaders. In 1963 he approached then–ISI president E. Victor Milione about managing a graduate fellowship for “college seniors who hold promise of becoming outstanding scholars or teachers in the related fields of economics, history, or political science.” Vic was thrilled; he had already envisioned a similar fellowship program to further ISI’s mission to educate for liberty and reseed the academy with scholars dedicated to the principles of freedom. The next year, with the generous support of the Relm Foundation, ISI launched the Richard M. Weaver Fellowship. Today, thanks to the unflagging support of Richard Ware and the Relm and Earhart foundations, hundreds of Weaver Fellowship alumni are defending the principles of liberty in the highly politicized American university. Many others have made their mark beyond the academy—in government, in public policy, and as authors and opinion leaders. Alumni of ISI’s graduate fellowship program include Hillsdale College president Larry Arnn, Weekly Standard editor William Kristol, Reagan secretary of the navy John F. Lehman Jr., Pepperdine’s Ronald Reagan Professor of Public Policy Steven F. Hayward, economist Tyler Cowen, author and Hillsdale professor Burton Folsom, bestselling author Thomas E. Woods Jr., and Bill of Rights Institute president David Bobb.
Another alumnus of the Weaver Fellow program, Heritage Foundation founder Edwin J. Feulner, served alongside Richard on the ISI board for many years. Ed told ISI today: “Richard A. Ware has been a friend and, above all, a mentor to me for most of my professional life. When he and I were colleagues in the Pentagon in the late 1960s, throughout his tenure as president of the Earhart Foundation, through his critical early membership in both the Mont Pelerin Society and the Philadelphia Society, Dick’s steady and even hand at the tiller has helped all lovers of freedom steer a straight and true course toward advancing liberty throughout the land.”
Another fellow ISI trustee, Richard V. Allen, had this to say: “Dick has been a central feature of my life, a fixture, a reference point, since the spring of 1957 when Gerhart Niemeyer proposed me for a Relm/Earhart graduate fellowship, leading me to Germany. There was never a time when I was out of contact with Dick for any significant period. We were Nixon administration colleagues when he was in Defense and I in the National Security Council. . . . To lose this ‘North Star’ of the modern mainstream conservative movement is a huge loss.”
As those comments suggest, Richard Ware has earned the undying admiration, gratitude, and indeed love of countless members of the ISI family.
Requiescat in pace.