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Billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, known for his staunch support of conservative initiatives and other projects, has died at 82.
Scaife’s death was first announced in his newspaper the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Although the cause of death was not mentioned, months earlier Scaife himself published that he had a terminal form of cancer.
Heir to the industrial fortune of the Mellons, Scaife used his money and influence in order to support and promote conservative projects such as the group FreedomWorks and other causes he felt passionately about, as reported by The Washington Post. In the 1970s and 1980s, Scaife was considered especially politically influential, helping the conservatives rebuild after Watergate and supporting Reagan on his path to the White House.
Scaife is especially well known for his interactions with the Clintons, who were then the first family. Along with giving thousands of dollars to opponents of Clinton, he also helped fund an attempt by American Spectator magazine to discover dirt on the Clintons, as reported by the Associated Press.
Though many of the causes Scaife supported were conservative, he also used his money to support other interests as well, donating to libraries, food banks, and preservationist organizations in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh mayor Bill Peduto stated, as reported by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that, “Although we differed on politics, we never differed on our love of Pittsburgh… We shared stories and our love of this great city. His investments and contributions will be remembered (by) generations who may never have heard of his name.”