Conservative political commentator and New York Times bestselling author Doug Wead, author of the 2019 book Inside Trump's White House: The Real Story of His Presidency, was removed from a ventilator and died of heart failure Friday after suffering a massive stroke a week ago. Wead was 75 years old.
Wead, who wrote more than 40 books and was an active participant in the 2000 U.S. presidential election, receiving some credit for George Bush's victory in the Iowa straw polls of 1999, was an insider in the Bush family, according to Time magazine, and was the man who coined the phrase, "compassionate conservative."
Wead's son, Scott, confirmed to Charisma News Friday that Wead suffered a massive stroke last week. He had been in the hospital since and suffered two heart attacks there. He was in a coma and had previously asked family members that he not be kept alive on life support. He died Friday after being taken off the ventilator.
Scott Wead says that, more than anything, his father wanted to be known as a student of history and as a man with a compassionate heart.
"The last years of his life, Dad was a presidential historian, a student of history," Scott says. "So many historians try to take God out of history and rewrite the history books. Dad made a point to interview presidents, including President Donald Trump. He wanted to include stories and testimonies from the lives of our presidents to make sure those stories were preserved. For the last 20 years, he spent a lot of time authoring books on history and on the raising of a president. He was a television personality, and he was an avid reader.
"He traveled on the evangelistic field for a long time, and he was blessed by how often Scriptures spoke about compassion and how God blessed those who show kindness to the poor," Scott says. "He had a heart for the hurting. He purposed to show compassion through ministry. He worked with Pat and Shirley Boone with Save the Refugees, and he worked in the White House with Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter, George H.W. and Barbara Bush and George W. Bush. He just had a huge heart for compassion ministry."
Scott Wead says his father and his grandfather, a minister in the Assemblies of God for many years in South Bend, Indiana, were very friendly to the Charismatic Catholic Renewal in the 1970s.
Wead appeared several times on Charisma CEO Stephen Strang's podcasts The Strang Report; God, Trump and the 2020 Election; and God and Cancel Culture with his political commentary.
After Joe Biden was elected president of the United States in November 2020, Wead told Strang on an ensuing episode of The Strang Report that Christians needed to get involved politically before our freedoms disappear.
"Christians were used as flaming torches in Nero's garden. I hope that's not where we're headed, but the church has survived," Wead said. "The only thing that makes you different from somebody living in a dictatorship is you have the freedom to vote, the freedom to run for office, the freedom to petition government, the freedom of speech, what you write in a book—those are the basic freedoms, some of which we're talking about losing. So as a good steward, you need to definitely be involved."
In 1992, Wead ran for U.S. Congress in Arizona's 6th Congressional District and won the Republican nomination by proposing a tax limit. He also received praise from former President Ronald Reagan for his humanitarian efforts.
"And Doug Wead, your excellent service in government at the White House and in the private sector, leading the effort for famine relief in Africa and Asia is a reminder that wherever we work, we can work to serve others," Reagan once said.
He also earned the praise of Trump in 2019 when Trump tweeted, "Great writer and historian, Doug Wead, has written a true (Not Fake News) account of what is going on in Washington and in the White House. His new book, 'INSIDE TRUMP's WHITE HOUSE,' is an incredible description of a very exciting and successful time in our country's history."
Wead was also a senior adviser to the Ron Paul 2012 and 2016 presidential campaigns.
Bishop Paul Zink paid tribute to his lifelong friend.
"Everybody knew Doug as a presidential historian and author, and he was very good at it," Zink says. "But Doug had a side to him as a humanitarian. I know, for instance, that once he went to Africa and helped to feed a tribe of people who were starving and dying. That's the type of heart he had. He loved the Lord very, very much.
"Doug was also in the Amway business for years, and he was known for his ability to speak at their conventions," Zink says. "He always made sure there was a Sunday-morning meeting at those conventions, and with the altar calls they had, I know for a fact that there was a thousand-plus people who gave their heart to the Lord in those meetings. You wouldn't look at him as a full-time minister, but he probably won more people to the Lord than most pastors would in a lifetime."
Zink says Wead spent several years as the president of Canyonville Bible Academy, a private boarding school in Canyonville, Oregon, from which he graduated in 1964. He also attended Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri and received an honorary degree from Oral Roberts University in 1990.
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