Clarence Thomas’ connections to wealth and expensive vacations run deeper than billionaire businessman and Nazi-enthusiast Harlan Crow. The New York Times reports that Thomas has thomas-horatio-alger-association.html” data-ylk=”slk:milked relationships with the rich;elm:context_link;itc:0″ class=”link “milked relationships with the rich he made through the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, a scholarship association, to benefit himself and his wife.
Because of their Horatio Alger connections, Thomas and his spouse, Virginia, have been invited to join luxurious vacations and parties in addition being granted V.I.P. access to sports events. Thanks to the association, Thomas also rubbed elbows with the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Ed McMahon during a lavish three-day Montana birthday party for billionaire industrialist Dennis Washington.
But the connections Thomas made through Horatio Alger have benefitted him beyond lavish trips. Thomas’ Horatio Alger contacts — including Washington as well as investor David Sokol, formerly of Berkshire Hathaway — helped fund a documentary that painted him in a heroic light after the premiere of an HBO movie that depicted Anita Hill during his confirmation hearings making sexual harassment allegations against Thomas. The Sokol family also hosted Thomas and his wife at their Montana ranch and their waterfront Florida estate. According to the Times, Thomas has not reported many of the benefits and gifts he has received from his rich and well-connected allies. The justice also declined to answer questions from the paper about the matter.
Early in his SCOTUS tenure, Thomas did report a number of personal gifts he received, including flights on private planes, cigars, and clothing. But after 2004, when The Los Angeles Times reported on his disclosures, Thomas ceased reporting to the court certain gifts and benefits he received. A ProPublica investigation in 2023 uncovered the justice’s close relationship with Crow, a GOP megadonor with