Dwayne Orville Andreas (March 4, 1918 – November 16, 2016) was one of the most prominent political campaign donors in the United States, having contributed millions of dollars to Democratic and Republican candidates alike. For twenty-five years, he was in the leadership of Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), the largest processor of farm commodities in the United States, where he made his fortune.
Andreas was born in Worthington, Minnesota. He grew up mostly in Iowa (with siblings Albert, Lenore, Glen, Osborne and Lowell) and attended Wheaton College in Illinois, but dropped out in his sophomore year after getting married, and went to work for a modest, family-owned food-processing firm in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. When Cargill bought the Cedar Rapids facility in 1945, Andreas joined the commodity firm, eventually becoming a vice president. Andreas resigned from Cargill in 1952, and continued in the vegetable oil business, eventually as an executive of the Grain Terminal Association.
In 1971 Andreas became Chief Executive Officer of ADM, and is credited with transforming the firm into an industrial powerhouse — so powerful that by 1996, ADM had been investigated for price-fixing and was assessed the largest antitrust fine in United States history: 100 million dollars. Andreas remained CEO until 1997.
While not well known to the public, Andreas commands much respect among Washington politicians for his largesse. As part of the investigations surrounding illegal campaign fundraising linked to the Watergate scandal, Andreas was charged with (but acquitted of) illegally contributing $100,000 to Hubert Humphrey's 1968 presidential campaign. In 1972 Andreas unlawfully contributed $25,000 to President Nixon's re-election campaign via Watergate burglar Bernard Barker. Other recipients of Andreas's "tithing" — as he puts it — have included George H. W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Bob Dole, Michael Dukakis, Jesse Jackson, and Jack Kemp.
According to Mother Jones magazine:
During the 1992 election, Andreas gave more than $1.4 million in soft money and $345,000 to individual candidates, using multiple donors in his company and family members (including wife Inez) to circumvent contribution limits.
Not all of Andreas's charity goes directly to politicians: in the 1990s he contributed $2.5 million to Florida public broadcasting network WXEL. He also aided the Community Partnership for the Homeless.
Andreas was one of several signatories to a May 20, 2004 open letter exhorting President George W. Bush to lift travel and humanitarian aid restrictions on Cuba. He is on the Board of Trustees of The Forum for International Policy and is the namesake of Barry University's Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law.
Andreas was implicated in the financial scandal of the Orthodox Church in America for his donations to Russia in 1991.
One of his closest friends was former New York governor and two-time Republican presidential candidate, Thomas E. Dewey. It was Andreas who discovered his friend following Dewey's fatal heart attack in his room at Seaview, a Florida Hotel in which Andreas held partial ownership.
Andreas was portrayed by Tom Smothers in the 2009 film The Informant! about the Lysine price-fixing conspiracy.
Andreas died on November 16, 2016 in Decatur, Illinois at the age of 98.