In Memoriam Harry F. Weyher
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Last December carried a review - quite probably the only favorable review it received – of  The Science of Human Diversity: A History of the Pioneer Fund.

The book was dedicated "to the memory of Wickliffe Preston Draper, 1892-1972, Scholar, Soldier, and Philanthropist." Its publication, and the remarkable success against all the odds that it chronicled, happened only because Colonel Draper had been fortunate enough to find a man of integrity and courage who shared his interests and could carry them forward into the 21st century - long after Draper's own lifetime ended. 

Harry F. Weyher was that man. He died in the last days of March.

Because of Harry Weyher, Colonel Draper's work was neither abandoned nor his resources diverted to purposes that he would have abhorred - as has been the fate of so many visionary philanthropists: Henry Ford and J. Howard Pew come immediately to mind. In contrast, as Harry wrote in his preface to The Science of Human Diversity, he tried to carry on the Pioneer Fund,

"in the way I think would have been wanted not only by Draper, but also by General Frederick Osborn, Justice Harlan and the others who preceded me as Pioneer directors and officers."

Harry Weyher was a young lawyer from North Carolina who came to a top New York law firm with outstanding credentials, including graduating magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. His career was spent in corporate tax and acquisitions, in addition to teaching law at New York University and writing legal articles and two books on his professional specialties. He was retained by Colonel Draper as his lawyer. But he became his closest and most trusted friend.

As put it once before, the Pioneer Fund, "like an Irish monastery has kept the study of human differences alive during the long egalitarian Dark Age."   The mid-twentieth century saw an extraordinary Galileo-like episode of intellectual repression with regard to the study of human differences. But although Pioneer was small, it had disproportionate impact, both because of the sheer scientific power of its approach and also because of Harry's leadership in carrying forward Colonel Draper's vision.   Harry planned the strategy and targeted judiciously the relatively limited funds.

Harry weathered the inevitable attacks from the politically correct with steadfast courage and humor. I would say he was appalled by their vicious nature.  But he took the attacks in his stride. Peter Brimelow tells me he remembers Harry and his lovely wife Michelle, seated at a front table during Brimelow's Manhattan Institute presentation on his immigration book Alien Nation, shaking with silent laughter as shockwaves spread through the assembled liberal, libertarian and Establishment "Conservative" mediacrats alike.

Harry Weyher was always ready to discuss ideas and help individuals. When I last talked with him, only two months before his death at the age of 80, he was still making plans for the Pioneer Fund and its future.

Goodbye, Harry.  You stayed the course and kept the faith.

Edith Hakola, a lawyer and long-time foundation executive, was a personal friend of Harry Weyher. She is Executive Vice President of the Center for American Unity. (which has NOT received support from the Pioneer Fund).

April 04, 2002

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