Mr. Regnery attended the College of Pennsylvania, the place he studied political science and joined the Intercollegiate Research Institute, a conservative scholar group co-founded by Mr. Buckley. He left earlier than graduating to work on Senator Barry Goldwater’s 1964 presidential marketing campaign.
Within the 2017 interview with Buzzfeed, one of many few occasions he spoke to the information media, he claimed that his efforts on behalf of Mr. Goldwater included what he known as “Operation Dewdrop,” wherein he tried to discourage Democratic voters in Philadelphia by hiring a aircraft to seed the skies with dry ice, within the hopes of constructing it rain. He failed — although, he recalled, he burned his fingers on the ultracold dry ice containers.
Mr. Regnery later returned to Chicago, the place he labored for Joanna-Western Mills. He grew to become the corporate’s president in 1980 however was ousted a yr later, after a number of quarters of poor monetary efficiency. In accordance with his personal account, he spent the remainder of his profession in a wide range of companies, whereas additionally dabbling in Illinois politics.
In his memoir, he recounted how he first started to show in opposition to the Republican Social gathering after listening to a speech in 1993 wherein the economist Milton Friedman declared that the tip of the Chilly Struggle meant that the free-market financial doctrines of the Reagan period had gained. In an early signal of that break, based on a 2017 profile in Mom Jones, Mr. Regnery ran unsuccessfully for Illinois secretary of state in 1994 on the Time period Limits and Tax Limits Social gathering ticket
5 years later, he convened a Who’s Who of white supremacists for a convention in Florida, the place he delivered a speech, “For Our Youngsters’s Youngsters,” wherein he mentioned the one method to save America’s white identification was for it to interrupt up into a number of smaller international locations, one every for the nation’s varied ethnic teams.
His racism grew extra specific. He introduced plans in 2004 to start out a whites-only relationship website. It by no means occurred, however he continued to fret that white individuals had been at risk of extinction: In 2006 he delivered a speech in Chicago wherein he mentioned, “The white race could go from grasp of the universe to an anthropological curiosity.”
By then he had severed most of his ties with mainstream Republicans, and so they with him. T hat similar yr the management of the Intercollegiate Research Institute, which he had joined in faculty, eliminated him from its board.