The reclusive billionaire who's spent $75 million on Trump and $25 million on RFK Jr.

  • Timothy Mellon is a secretive billionaire who's the heir to a Gilded Age banking fortune.

  • He's RFK Jr.'s biggest financial backer and has given $25 million to a super PAC supporting him.

  • But he's also spent $75 million on Trump, including $50 million the day after his conviction.

Timothy Mellon has now emerged as the most important donor to both former President Donald Trump and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., spending tens of millions of dollars on both men.

A GOP megadonor for several years, the relatively secretive billionaire emerged as a key financial backer of Kennedy's last year, contributing the majority of the funding for American Values 2024, the main super PAC supporting Kennedy's candidacy.

In July 2023 — before Kennedy abandoned his Democratic primary campaign for an independent bid — Mellon described Kennedy as the "one candidate who can unite the country and root out corruption." He has since given $25 million to the super PAC, including $10 million in April.

At the same time, Mellon has contributed handsomely to the pro-Trump super PAC "Make America Great Again Inc.," pouring $25 million into the PAC from July 2023 to April 2024.

Then came the big one: the day after Trump was convicted on 34 felony counts by a jury in Manhattan, Mellon gave $50 million to MAGA Inc., according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday.

Mellon did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

Who is Timothy Mellon?

The 81-year-old Mellon is the grandson of Andrew Mellon, a Gilded Age-era banking titan who served as Treasury Secretary from 1921 - 1932, spanning three Republican presidents.

He is an heir to the family fortune. Forbes estimates the family's net worth to be more than $14 billion.

When it comes to Mellon's own business ventures, he's perhaps best known for purchasing and turning around Pan Am Systems, and he's set to release a book about it next month entitled "panam.captain."

Mellon is a former liberal who has veered rightward over the years, telling Bloomberg in 2020 that it was mostly about his business dealings.

"I think it came largely from going into business with certain small companies and seeing the interaction between commerce and government — it just seemed like government was making things way too difficult and against the interests of working people," Mellon said at the time. "The more restrictions you have, the less likely you are to hire people."

He also once wrote in a self-published autobiography that welfare programs are "slavery redux" while saying that Black people became "even more belligerent and unwilling to pitch in to improve their own situations" after the expansion of social welfare systems.

He told Bloomberg that he "said everything I wanted to say" and doesn't "have any regrets" about the book.

He's a big contributor to GOP causes — and Democrats have been eager to point that out

The last time Mellon spent this much money in one fell swoop, it was for a literal border wall.

In 2021, Mellon contributed $53 million to an effort led by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas to build a wall along the US-Mexico border, effectively funding that entire venture on his own.

But he's given millions of dollars to GOP causes and campaigns in recent years, including $20 million to a pro-Trump super PAC in 2020, $45 million to a super PAC tied to GOP House leadership, and $30 million to a super PAC associated with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

As Democrats seek to minimize Kennedy's appeal to the party base, lest he negatively impact President Joe Biden's chances, one key calling card has been Mellon's donation history.

After Mellon's most recent contribution to Kennedy became public in May, Democratic National Committee spokesman Matt Corridoni said the transaction "tells us everything we need to know."

"MAGA Republicans are hellbent on propping up RFK Jr. to be a spoiler for Trump in this race," Corridoni said in a statementat the time. "This is even more proof that a vote for RFK Jr. is a vote for Trump."

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