Wayne LaPierre Profile
- Wayne LaPierre graduated from Siena College of Loudonville in 1972 with a Bachelor's Degree in Education and Political Science. He also has a Master's degree in Government and Politics from Boston College.
- LaPierre joined the National Rifle Association (NRA) in 1971 and became its Executive Vice President and CEO in 1991. He has also been the spokesperson of NRA since then.
- In August 2020, New York Attorney General Letitia James sued LaPierre and three other NRA executives for an alleged engagement in illegal financial conduct. LaPierre allegedly diverted "tens of millions of dollars for personal trips and expenditures."
This research presents a biography of Wayne LaPierre, including insights into the legal accusations against him. This includes information about his family background, education background, career, affiliations, and net worth. The details are outlined below.
I. Biography of Wayne LaPierre
Childhood and Family Background
- Wayne Robert LaPierre Jr. was born in Schenectady, New York on November 8, 1949. His family then moved to Roanoke, Virginia, where he spent his childhood from the age of five.
- He is the son of Wayne Robert LaPierre Sr., a General Electric accountant, and Hazel Marie Gordon LaPierre, a native of Schenectady.
- His grandparents are Raymond and Edith LaPierre, who both died in Schenectady.
- Wayne LaPierre is married to Susan LaPierre.
- He studied high school at Patrick Henry High School in Roanoke, Virginia.
- He graduated from Siena College of Loudonville in 1972 with a Bachelor's Degree in Education and Political Science.
- He also has a Master's degree in Government and Politics from Boston College.
- LaPierre also enrolled in a Ph.D. at Boston University in 1973, but he ended up dropping out to assist a Democrat in running "for the Virginia state legislature."
- LaPierre joined the National Rifle Association (NRA) in 1971 and became its Executive Vice President and CEO in 1991. He has also been the spokesperson of NRA since then. NRA is the biggest gun rights organization in the US.
- He has been a "long-time gun rights advocate."
- LaPierre has been a government activist since he graduated from Boston College.
- During the Vietnam War, LaPierre got an "internship with a New York state legislator."
- He also worked as a substitute special education teacher for "poor and developmentally disabled" children in Troy, New York.
- He is also a book author since 1994. He has written books on weaponry, shooting practices, terrorism, and gun safety.
- LaPierre also hosted a weekly TV program called Crime Strike. This program advocates the use of a gun in self-defense.
- LaPierre is a board member of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture and a member of the Council for National Policy.
- He is also one of the board of directors of the American Association of Political Consultants, the American Conservative Union, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
- He has a net worth of $12 million.
- He has been "campaigning against politicians thought to be in favor of gun control."
- He also famously lobbied for the expansion of gun ownership after the shooting incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
- LaPierre has been vocal in sharing that he favors adding armed school guards. He believes that "the only thing that could stop a bad guy with a gun was a good guy with a gun."
- He published his first book in 1994. That book was entitled "Guns, Crime, and Freedom." He wrote a number of books while he was working at NRA.
II. Legal Accusations About Wayne LaPierre
Illegal Financial Conduct
- In August 2020, New York Attorney General Letitia James sued LaPierre and three other NRA executives for an alleged engagement in illegal financial conduct. They are being accused of undercutting NRA's charitable mission.
- LaPierre allegedly diverted "tens of millions of dollars for personal trips and expenditures." The lawsuit also includes allegations of "lucrative no-show contracts to buy people's silence," including improper spending.
- LaPierre and the three NRA executives allegedly "paid for family trips to the Bahamas, private jets and expensive meals and clothes that contributed to a $64 million reduction in the NRA's balance sheet in three years, turning a surplus into a deficit."
- According to James, "The NRA was serving as a personal piggy bank for four individual defendants."
- The lawsuit was filed in Manhattan's state Supreme Court after 18 months of investigation.
Accusations Related to LaPierre's Wife
- From 2013 to 2018, Susan LaPierre served as the president of Youth for Tomorrow (YFT), a Virginia-based Christian charity.
- Interviews by The Trace revealed that there were multiple occasions when NRA paid for YFT's annual parties. Those were parties that had no relation to gun rights.
- Invoices revealed that NRA "paid tens of thousands of dollars in production fees" for YFT's star-studded fundraising events even though the events had nothing to do with NRA or gun rights whatsoever.
- YFT was not included in the lawsuit against Wayne LaPierre and the three NRA executives. However, an expert described Susan LaPierre's YFT arrangement as 'theft.'
- Part of Attorney General James's complaint is NRA's relationship with specific favored vendors such as the Ackerman McQueen, a public relations firm.
- Ackerman allegedly received $32 million from NRA in 2018 alone. The complaint states that "NRA's arrangement with Ackerman appeared designed to hide what all that money actually paid for."
- LaPierre reportedly had a really close relationship with Ackerman's late co-founder. LaPierre allegedly requested invoices from Ackerman that had "very little detail about the work performed or services rendered."
- According to NRA insiders, LaPierre "has a reputation for never being able to say no, especially to the wrong people."
- NRA insiders also joked about how one could get Wayne's approval for an item of expenditure if Wayne is pressured enough.
Perceptions About LaPierre
- His contemporaries see him as a strategic thinker and skilled lobbyist, yet a little odd and absentminded.
- He is also perceived to be allergic to practicality.
For this research on Wayne LaPierre's profile, we leveraged the most reputable sources of information in the public domain, including the Daily Gazette, The Personage, NBC News, Vox, and Reuters.