Philanthropist and longtime conservative activist Richard Mellon Scaife passed away this morning less than two months after being diagnosed with an inoperable cancer. He had turned 82 yesterday.
Scaife is perhaps best known for his association with The American Spectator during the 1990s. With Scaife’s help, The American Spectator, among other things, investigated the financial dealings of Bill and Hillary Clinton in connection with the Whitewater scandal. The liberal press dubbed it as “The Arkansas Project”. These articles would eventually help lead to President Clinton’s impeachment by the House of Representatives. In the ’90s, Scaife was to liberals what the Koch Brothers are to them today. Hillary Clinton no doubt had Scaife in mind when she uttered the phrase “vast right-wing conspiracy”. Yet when Barack Obama emerged on the scene in 200, Scaife surprised many with his endorsement of Hillary in the 2008 Pennsylvania Democratic Primary.
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Scaife was the owner and publisher of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and also donated million of dollars to the arts, academic institutions and social services agencies.