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Mike Lindell

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Mike Lindell
Mike Lindell by Gage Skidmore (cropped).jpg
Lindell in 2020
Born
Michael James Lindell

(1961-06-28) June 28, 1961 (age 59)
OccupationFounder and CEO of My Pillow
Net worth~US$300 million (2018)[1]
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)
Dallas Yocumin
(m. 2013; div. 2013)
Children4[2]
Websitemichaeljlindell.com

Michael James Lindell[3] (born June 28, 1961), is an American businessman. He is the founder and CEO of My Pillow, Inc.,[4][2][5] and is sometimes referred to as "the My Pillow guy".[6]

Early life and career

Lindell was born on June 28, 1961, in Mankato, Minnesota, and was raised in Chaska and Carver, Minnesota.[4]

Business career

Prior to inventing MyPillow, Lindell launched and operated a number of small businesses including carpet cleaning, lunch wagons, and a few bars and restaurants in Carver County, Minnesota.[4][2] During the 1980s and 1990s, Lindell was addicted to cocaine, crack cocaine, and alcohol, leading to foreclosure of his house, and his wife filing for divorce. Lindell stated that he achieved sobriety through prayer in 2009, and, since then, has been clean.[4][7][8]

Lindell invented the MyPillow pillow in 2004 and grew the business into a major Minnesota manufacturing company.[9][10] The company laid off 150 employees in 2019.[11] Citing possible future political ambitions, Lindell named his son Darren as the company's chief operating officer.[11]

Business controversies

In 2016, Lindell's My Pillow company was sued in Alameda County Superior Court in Oakland, California for running ads with false claims of the pillow helping with snoring, fibromyalgia, migraines and other medical conditions. Prosecutors in nine California counties brought the charges against the misleading infomercials.[12] MyPillow settled for about $1 million, while admitting no wrongdoing.[12]

In 2017, the Better Business Bureau revoked accreditation of MyPillow, lowering its rating to an F based on a pattern of complaints by consumers. The BBB cited a Buy One, Get One offer that became a continuous offer and therefore the normal price of the product, not a sale price or free offer.[13] In a statement, Lindell said, "Naturally, I am terribly disappointed by the BBB's decision."[13]

Foundations, memoirs, and autobiography

Lindell created the Lindell Foundation, a faith-based foundation. The company and foundation donated goods to victims of Hurricane Harvey in 2017.[14][15] The foundation's focus was then broadened to help people with addictions, cancer victims, and veterans.[7][16]

Lindell also founded the Lindell Recovery Network to "bring hope, recovery, and mentorship" to those struggling with drug addictions; the network shares stories from recovered addicts and provides information on Christian recovery organizations.[17][18]

In March 2017, Lindell produced The Mike Lindell Story: An American Dream, about having overcome drug addiction and building a business. The autobiography was filmed at the Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota.[19] In January 2020, Lindell released his memoir, What Are the Odds? From Crack Addict to CEO.[20][21]

Political activities

In August 2016, Lindell met with then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump,[4][22][23] and became an avid supporter, calling Trump "the most amazing president this country has ever seen in history", following his 2016 election.[24] In a speech at Liberty University in August 2019, Lindell said "When I met with Donald Trump, it felt like a divine appointment, and when I walked out of that office I decided I was going to go all in."[25][26]

On October 19, 2016, Lindell attended the final presidential debate in Las Vegas.[27] He spoke at a Trump campaign rally in Minneapolis on November 6, 2016, and attended the Official Donald Watch Party on November 8. He attended Trump's inauguration, and Trump gave him an inauguration lapel pin as a personal gift.[24][28][22]

In 2017, Lindell sat next to Trump at an industry roundtable event at the White House.[29][30][4][23]

At a rally in Fargo, North Dakota on June 27, 2018, Trump commended Lindell's business acumen.[31] Lindell spoke at a Trump rally on October 4, 2018, in Rochester, Minnesota.[32] Lindell spoke at the 2019 Conservative Political Action Conference, in which he promoted Trump as "the greatest president in history"[33] and "chosen by God."[11]

In a March 2020 appearance on Fox News, Lindell said that his company's bedding factories had been refocused on face mask production at the behest of the Trump administration. Later that month, Lindell appeared with Trump at a White House coronavirus press conference, at which Lindell praised Trump: "God gave us grace on November 8, 2016, to change the course we were on. God had been taken out of our schools and lives, a nation had turned its back on God. I encourage you to use this time at home to get back in the word. Read our Bible and spend time with our families."[34]

Lindell has publicly considered running for governor of Minnesota in 2022 against Democratic incumbent Tim Walz.[11][35] reportedly at Trump's urging.[11] He attended a Republican Governors Association meeting, at which he was encouraged to run.[11] In May 2020, he became the campaign chair for Trump's reelection campaign in Minnesota.[35] A few hours before Trump spoke at a 2020 Mount Rushmore Independence Day celebration, in response to an audience question at a small rally nearby, Lindell said he's "99% sure" about running for Minnesota governor.[36]

Promotion of unproven coronavirus "cure"

In White House meetings with Trump and public appearances, Lindell has promoted a plant extract, oleandrin, as a "cure" for COVID-19, saying "This thing works — it's the miracle of all time."[37] In a television appearance, Lindell made a misleading statement about the testing of the substance.[37] Lindell has a financial stake in Phoenix Biotechnology, a company that makes oleandrin, and sits on its board.[37] Lindell's unsubstantiated claims alarmed scientists, since there is no scientific evidence that oleandrin is a safe or effective coronavirus treatment, and since the plant is poisonous at low doses.[37][38][39][40] After the efforts by Lindell and HUD Secretary Ben Carson to promote oleandrin, Trump said his administration would "look at" the substance.[37]

Personal life

Lindell has been married twice. He married his second wife, Dallas Yocumin, in June 2013; however, a few weeks later, in mid-July 2013, Yocumin filed for divorce. Yocumin said they "don't have anything in common and [he] ruined the last two years of [her] life." Lindell stated that they had a prenuptial agreement.[41][42]

Lindell is a devout Christian;[7] he received an honorary Doctor of Business from Liberty University in 2019.[43]

Works

  • Mike Lindell (2019). What Are the Odds? From Crack Addict to CEO. Minnesota: Lindell Publishing. ISBN 978-1-7342-8341-9.[35]

References

  1. ^ Bond, Paul (November 21, 2018). "Multimillionaire Trump Fan and Fox News Advertiser Jumps Into Film Financing". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Dean, Josh (January 11, 2017). "The Preposterous Success Story of America's Pillow King". Bloomberg Businessweek. Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  3. ^ "My Pillow, Inc". Dun & Bradstreet. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Wells, Jane (September 20, 2017). "How this entrepreneur went from a crack addict to a self-made multimillionaire". CNBC. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  5. ^ Betsy Klein (November 4, 2018). "How the MyPillow guy became a midterm messenger". CNN. Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  6. ^ Martin, Jeffery (March 30, 2020). "'My Pillow' trends after MyPillow founder urges Americans to focus on religion during White House coronavirus briefing". Newsweek. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  7. ^ a b c "'My Pillow' founder opens up about addiction". Salvation Army. December 29, 2015. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  8. ^ Roosevelt, Ava (Fall 2017). "The Most Seen Man on TV and His Novel Notion on Giving". Philanthropy. International Opulence. pp. 126–127. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  9. ^ Hutton, Rachel (September 2, 2018). "Mike Lindell's fitful journey from crack addict to MyPillow magnate". StarTribune. Star Tribune. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  10. ^ "The story of the My Pillow king". CBS News. July 29, 2018. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  11. ^ a b c d e f Daniel Lippman & Tina Nguyen (March 30, 2020). "Trump has been nudging MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell to run for office". Politico.
  12. ^ a b NBC Los Angeles (November 4, 2016). "MyPillow Fined $1M for Phony Ads". NBCLosAngeles.com. KNBC. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  13. ^ a b KARE-TV (January 4, 2017). "MyPillow accreditation revoked by the Better Business Bureau". USA Today. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  14. ^ "Special Projects Donation Update: Hurricane Harvey". Lindell Foundation. Lindell Foundation. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 20 November 2017.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  15. ^ Winter, Deena (August 31, 2017). "MyPillow to donate 60,000 pillows to Hurricane Harvey victims". Shakopee Valley News. SWNewsMedia.com. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  16. ^ Strode, Tom (March 2, 2018). "MyPillow Inventor Mike Lindell Shares Testimony at NRB Media Leadership Dinner". National Religious Broadcasters. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  17. ^ "A Year of Historic Action to Combat the Opioid Crisis". WhiteHouse.gov. October 24, 2018. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  18. ^ Ord, Rich (October 23, 2018). "MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell and His Story of Hope". WebProNews. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  19. ^ "'The Mike Lindell Story: An American Dream' Exclusively on RFD-TV". RFDTV. Frankly, Inc. December 28, 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  20. ^ DeBilzan, Maddie (June 21, 2019). "MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell to be on TV show, launch online help for addicts". SWNewsMedia. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  21. ^ "What are the Odds? | Mike Lindell's Story". www.mikelindellsbook.com. Retrieved 2019-07-26.
  22. ^ a b Williams, Nick (January 20, 2017). "What MyPillow's CEO got from Donald Trump at the inauguration". Minneapolis/St Paul Business Journal. Minneapolis, Minnesota: American City Business Journals. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  23. ^ a b Lindell, Michael J. (July 24, 2017). "Mike Lindell: Here's why Made in America really will help make America great again". Fox News. New York City: News Corp. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  24. ^ a b "Web Extra: Mike Lindell Speaks At Trump Rally". CBS Minnesota. CBS Broadcasting Inc. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  25. ^ Klinker, Ryan. "MyPillow founder Mike Lindell gifts students with pillows and message of God's grace". Liberty University. Liberty University News Service. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  26. ^ Mehta, Hemant. "Liberty University Students Just Got $600,000 Worth of MyPillow Products". Friendly Atheist. Patheos. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  27. ^ "Live Reaction to Pres Debate". Facebook - Fox Business. Facebook. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  28. ^ "MyPillow CEO on attending 'surreal' Trump party". KARE 11. KARE-TV. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  29. ^ "Made in America Roundtable". Whitehouse.gov. United States Government. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  30. ^ "MyPillow CEO Featured In White House Event With Trump, Paulsen". CBS Minnesota. Minneapolis, Minnesota: CBS Broadcasting Inc. July 19, 2017. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  31. ^ Fernandez, Henry (June 27, 2018). "Trump: 'MyPillow guy' should be my ad buyer". FOXBusiness. New York City: News Corp. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  32. ^ "Live: Thousands gather for President Trump's Rochester rally". Star-Tribune. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Star Tribune Media Company. October 4, 2018. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  33. ^ "My Pillow founder Mike Lindell: Donald Trump was 'chosen by God' to run for president". Washington Times. March 1, 2019.
  34. ^ Casiano, Louis (March 30, 2020). "MyPillow founder Mike Lindell, at White House coronavirus briefing, tells people to pray during crisis". Fox News. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  35. ^ a b c Terris, Ben (May 27, 2020). "Is the MyPillow guy the future of the Republican Party, or is he just dreaming?". The Washington Post.
  36. ^ Tupper, Seth (July 4, 2020). "In Rapid City, My Pillow CEO Says He's '99 Percent Sure' About Running For Minnesota Governor". South Dakota Public Broadcasting.
  37. ^ a b c d e Heather Murphy, Drug Pitched to Trump for Covid-19 Comes From a Deadly Plant, New York Times (August 20, 2020).
  38. ^ Oleandrin: Trump allies pitch extract from poisonous plant to fight Covid, The Guardian (August 25, 2020).
  39. ^ Jonathan Swan (2020-08-17). "Trump eyes new unproven coronavirus "cure"". Axios. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
  40. ^ Lauren Frias (2020-08-17). "Trump reportedly pushing new unproven coronavirus treatment that is also embraced by HUD Sec. Ben Carson and MyPillow's Mike Lindell". Business Insider. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
  41. ^ "C.J.: Bride leaves, says MyPillow CEO is a snooze". Star Tribune. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  42. ^ Keogh, Joey (8 June 2020). "Inside the MyPillow guy's relationship with his ex-wife". TheList.com. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  43. ^ Klinker, Ryan (August 21, 2019). "MyPillow founder Mike Lindell gifts students with pillows and message of God's grace". Liberty University. Retrieved 26 August 2019.

External links