Christian Billionaire, Top Donor to Pentecostal University Dies

Richard DeVos
Richard DeVos (Orlando Magic/Facebook)

Orlando Magic owner Richard DeVos died Thursday at his home in Ada, Mich., due to complications from an infection, the team announced. He was 92.

DeVos, the billionaire co-founder of Amway, bought the team in September of 1991 and oversaw trips to the NBA Finals in 1995 and 2009. He was inducted into the team's Hall of Fame in 2016.

"Mr. DeVos' boundless generosity, inspirational leadership and infectious enthusiasm will always be remembered," Magic CEO Alex Martins said in a statement. "Simply, he was the team's No. 1 cheerleader and the best owner that a Magic fan could ever want for their team.

"When the DeVos Family purchased the Magic, his vision was that the team and organization would serve as a platform to improve the Central Florida community. That legacy will certainly live on, both in the Orlando Magic's community efforts and philanthropic contributions, as well as in the way we strive to play the game with passion, a strong work ethic and integrity, while also bringing people together from all walks of life."

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DeVos founded Amway, the direct-selling company that currently holds naming rights to the Magic's stadium, with high-school classmate Jay Van Andel in 1959. He was the company's president until 1993, when he was succeeded by his son, Dick.

DeVos and his late wife, Helen, donated to a number of causes through the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, including hospitals and Christian schools and churches.

The DeVos family was one of the largest donors to Church of God-affiliated Lee University.

"The DeVos family first started giving money to Lee over 25 years ago, they have been our leading contributor and donor throughout the years of my presidency," said Lee President Paul Conn.

The couple's four children own the largest stakes in the Magic franchise, although other family members have pieces of ownership as well. Dan DeVos, Richard and Helen's son, is the team's chairman.

© 2018 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

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