Richard Headlee

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Richard Harold Headlee (May 16, 1930 – November 9, 2004) was the author of the Headlee Amendment, a Michigan law that places restrictions on tax increases without voter approval. He was also the 1982 Republican candidate for Governor of Michigan. During 1963 he served as the National President of the Jaycees.


Headlee was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa to William Clark and Violet Lunn Headlee and grew up in Richfield, Utah. He graduated from Utah State University in 1953.[1] In 1949 Headlee married his high school sweetheart, Mary Elaine Mendenhall.[1] They had four sons and five daughters.

After graduating from college, Headlee joined the US military and was stationed in Mannheim, Germany. He then came to Bountiful, Utah where he joined the Jaycees and eventually became the national president in 1963.

In 1964 Headlee moved to Michigan. That year he was appointed by Governor George Romney to run a program for Michigan servicemen in Vietnam. In 1966 Headlee served as Romney's campaign manager. It was the fact that Romney could outwork him that convinced Headlee to investigate the LDS Church. He was baptized in 1966 and he was sealed to his wife, who was a lifelong church member, and children in 1967 in the Salt Lake Temple.[1]

In 1978 Headlee organized the effort that brought about the Headlee amendment. He was the Republican candidate for governor of Michigan in 1982, losing to Jim Blanchard.

In 1987, Headlee was the recipient of a heart transplant from a victim of a motorcycle accident in Texas.

In the LDS Church, Headlee served twice as a bishop, ten years in a stake presidency and as a Regional Representative.[2]

Among Headlee's children is Howard Headlee, President of the Utah Bankers Association.

Headlee was President and CEO of Alexander Hamilton Life Insurance Co. based in Farmington Hills, Michigan.[1]

Headlee was anti-taxes[1] and pro-life.[3]

Headlee funded the creation by Dennis Smith and placement of the "Signing of the Constitution" statues in the US embassies in Moscow and London in 1988.[4]

In 1992 Headlee his children and grandchildren were involved in a major effort to assist children in Romanian orphanages.[1] This was organized into Project Concern International, which provided 40,000 pounds of supplies to an orphanage in Romania.[5]

After retiring and moving to Park City, Utah to be near his grandchildren Headlee served as the director of the board of Tuacahn Center for the Arts in Ivins, Utah.[1]

Headlee died at his home in Cedar Hills, Utah in 2004.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Obituary: Richard H. Headlee". Deseret Morning News. November 12, 2004. Retrieved 2009-06-08. 
  2. ^ Church News, November 20, 2004[full citation needed]
  3. ^ Hadlee, Richard H. (July 3, 1998). "`Partial birth' sickening". Deseret News. Retrieved 2009-06-08. 
  4. ^ Church News, November 30, 1988[full citation needed]
  5. ^ Church News, July 7, 2001[full citation needed]