Illustration by Jason Lancaster / CNN / Getty

From the Ambien and Dramamine in millions of bathroom medicine cabinets, to the sugar substitute that makes diet sodas sweet, to the first-ever birth control pill, some of America’s most common medicines and supplements can be traced back to the G.D. Searle pharmaceutical company.

Now, more than a century after the company’s founding, the massive family fortune built from those scientific advances has emerged as a major benefactor of the right, mostly out of the public eye.

The Searle Freedom Trust, a foundation funded by the company’s former chairman, has doled out more than $200 million in grants over the last decade, sending more money to conservative non-profits than nearly any other private foundation in recent years, according to a CNN analysis.

This year, the Searle trust is poised to play an even bigger role as it empties out its coffers. Following the wishes of its founder, the late Daniel C. Searle, the trust is closing down in 2025 and planning to award most of its last major grants in 2024. […]

Read the Full Article