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Billionaire Conservative Donor Richard Scaife Dead at 82: Report

Richard Mellon Scaife, the publisher and billionaire heir to the Mellon banking and oil fortune, has died at the age of 82, his newspaper said.
Richard Mellon Scaife
Billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, owner and publisher of the Tribune Review newspapers in Pittsburgh and Greensburg, Pa., greets visitors as they enter the paper's new facility in Warrendale, Pa. during the dedication of the building on Oct. 23, 1997. Scaife, who published the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and funded libertarian and conservative political causes, including a one-time effort to discredit President Bill Clinton, died at his home early Friday, July 4, 2014, one day after his birthday, The Tribune-Review newspaper reported. He was 82. In 2013, Forbes estimated his wealth at $1.4 billion. Keith Srakocic / AP, file

Richard Mellon Scaife, the billionaire heir to the Mellon banking and oil fortune and publisher who funded conservative causes, has died at his home, his newspaper, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, reported. His death came just one day after his 82nd birthday, the newspaper said. He announced in May that he had an untreatable form of cancer.

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He was the grand-nephew of Andrew Mellon, a banker and secretary of the Treasury who was involved with some of the biggest industrial companies of the early 20th century, the Associated Press reported. Forbes magazine estimated Scaife's net worth in 2013 at $1.4 billion. The Tribune-Review wrote: “Many of the nation's leading conservatives considered him to be the man who sustained the Republican Party after its crushing defeat in the 1964 presidential election and the Watergate scandal in 1972.”

- Alastair Jamieson