'Reclusive Heir' Makes Massive Donation to Pro-Trump Super PAC

Timothy Mellon donated $50M the day after Trump was convicted
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2024 4:08 AM CDT
'Reclusive Heir' Makes Massive Donation to Pro-Trump Super PAC
Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally Sunday, June 9, 2024, in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/John Locher)

On the day after Donald Trump was convicted of 34 felonies, a super PAC supporting his campaign received one of the largest donations in American political history. According to federal filings, transportation tycoon Timothy Mellon donated $50 million to Make America Great Again Inc. on the last day of May, NBC News reports. The New York Times describes Mellon as a "reclusive heir to a Gilded Age fortune." The 77-year-old has donated at least $100 million over the last year, including $25 million in previous donations to the pro-Trump super PAC and $25 million to a super PAC supporting Robert F. Kennedy.

Mellon, grandson of former Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, lives in Wyoming and began making large political donations in 2018. "Few recipients of his money have even met him," the Times reports. Forbes estimates the Mellon family's net worth at $14.1 billion.

  • Impact. Mellon's donation accounted for a huge chunk of the $70 million MAGA Inc. said it received in May, the Times reports. Within days of the donation, the super PAC said it would start reserving $100 million in ads through Labor Day.
  • A controversial memoir. In 2020, when Mellon was still chairman and majority owner of Pan Am Systems, the Washington Post reported that his self-published autobiography had been pulled from the company website. In the book, Mellon used racial stereotypes and slammed the social programs of the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1980s, he wrote, "Black people "became even more belligerent and unwilling to pitch in to improve their own situations."
  • Previous donations. Mellon's only larger donation than the $50 million to MAGA Inc. was a $53 million donation in 2021 toward the private construction of a Texas border wall, the Times reports. The vast majority of his donations have gone to conservative candidates and causes but in its 2020 profile, the Post reported that he had given $2,700 to the campaign of Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in 2018, and $2,800 to the 2020 presidential campaign of then-Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.
(More Election 2024 stories.)

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