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In Memoriam: William Martin Schulz

William Martin Schulz and Reagan
William Schulz, the longtime Executive Editor and head of the Washington office of Reader’s Digest and an important if now under-recognized figure in the modern conservative movement, passed away on July 22, 2019. Mr. Schulz's life will be celebrated at a Funeral Mass from 11:00 am - 12:00 pm at Saint Ann Catholic Church, 4001 Yuma St NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20016.

Bill Schulz came to Washington at a time when there were only a handful of self-identified conservatives in Washington, D.C. After dropping out of Antioch College (a far-left college in Ohio where he was allegedly the token conservative) he began his writing career working for conservative radio broadcaster Fulton Lewis Jr., the Rush Limbaugh of that day.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s the two most important publications for the just-starting conservative movement were William F. Buckley, Jr.’s National Review in New York, an intellectual/political journal for people who called themselves “conservatives,” and Frank Hanigan’s Human Events, a weekly Washington newsletter on politics in the Nation’s Capital, with an Old Right slant.  

In 1957, M. Stanton “Stan” Evans became Managing Editor of Human Events and started his career of teaching conservative students.  The very first Human Events journalism class started in the fall of 1957, and consisted of three people:  Bill Schulz, Doug Caddy, (later Executive Director of Young Americans for Freedom) and David Franke, (later Senior Editor of Arlington House/Conservative Book Club).

In 1960, Schulz attended the seminal political gathering of young conservatives at Bill Buckley’s Connecticut home that produced the Sharon Statement. That document, an early articulation of conservative political principles and the foundation of Young Americans for Freedom, helped pave the way for the nomination of Barry Goldwater in 1964 and the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.

During this period – and under the mentorship of William F. Buckley, Jr. and M. Stanton Evans – Bill Schulz helped shape the nation’s nascent conservative movement as it began to coalesce into a political force. He collaborated with the editors of Human Events to articulate and advance conservative political causes and was active in Young Americans for Freedom as well.

In the late 1960s, Schulz joined the Washington office of Reader’s Digest, which, except for a one-year stint at the magazine’s headquarters in the early 1970s, would be his professional home for the next several decades. He mentored hundreds of writers and journalists during his Digest career, all while producing a magazine that had no equal in terms of readership, paid circulation, or reach and influence.

Beyond mentoring some of the most influential writers and thinkers of today’s modern conservative movement, Mr. Schulz’s most lasting and important contribution to conservatism and to the preservation of America and the West was his writing and editorial focus at Reader’s Digest.

In today’s media environment, where Far Left editorial policy is dominant, it may be difficult to believe that, due to the influence of William Schulz, the nation’s most widely read magazine, with a monthly U.S. readership exceeding 50 million, was strongly anti-communist and staunchly pro-American.

As Executive Editor and head of the Washington office Bill Schulz shaped the magazine’s focus on defending basic American values and shining a light on the evils of communism – thereby promoting the central tenets of Ronald Reagan’s political philosophy and validating the beliefs of America’s Silent Majority.

After retiring from the Reader’s Digest in 2003, Bill Schulz’s service was still not over. He continued to write and in 2005 he joined NBC newsman Ken Bode as the first ombudsmen for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the organization that oversees public radio and television.

6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
5130 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016

Funeral Mass
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
4001 Yuma St NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20016

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