Young Americans for Freedom

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Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) is affiliated with the Young America's Foundation.


" About 90 young people at the Sharon, Connecticut estate of William F. Buckley, Jr. gathered to lay the groundwork for a new national conservative youth organization. It is here that Americans for Freedom is born and our statement of principles, the Sharon Statement, is drafted. New Guard magazine makes its debut as the official magazine of YAF.

"YAF spearheads the campaign of Barry Goldwater for president. Goldwater's run for the White House catalyzed YAF more than any other event in its history. A highlight of YAF's movement to make Goldwater the Republican nominee is an astonishing rally in New York's Madison Square Garden where 18,500 conservatives gather to show their support for Senator Goldwater. Lee Edwards, former New Guard editor, said "Barry Goldwater made YAF, but YAF also made Barry Goldwater."

"Ronald Reagan joins the YAF National Advisory Board in 1962 and continues today, 40 years later, as Honorary Chairman." [1]

On Sept. 5, 2004, Brian Lamb interviewed Richard Viguerie, direct mail guru of the religious right, on the occasion of the publication of Viguerie's book, America's Right Turn: How Conservatives Used New and Alternative Media to Take Power (Bonus Books, Chicago, IL). According to Viguerie, the book's co-author, David Franke, did most of the research and writing, while Viguerie lent his name and public promotion duties.

Viguerie explained that he met Franke in the late 1950s in Washington, DC, where Franke was writing for Human Events magazine. At about the same time Franke had, together with his roommate Douglas Caddy, founded the Students for Goldwater organization. Shortly thereafter Franke returned to his native Houston, and worked with Viguerie, an intense anti-communist, who was chairman of the Harris County Young Republicans. By 1961 Franke merged his Students for Goldwater organization with the Young Americans for Freedom organization that had been founded, according to Viguerie, in the fall of 1960 at the Sharon, Connecticut estate of Bill Buckley. Within a year or two, through the influence of Franke, Viguerie was executive secretary of YAF.


The Michigan State University chapter of YAF has been listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group [1]

Critical Books

  • John A. Andrew, The Other Side of the Sixties: Young Americans for Freedom and the Rise of Conservative Politics (London: Rutgers University Press, 1997)

Contact details

YAF's address is a virtual office[2] at:
2300 M Street, NW
Suite 800
Washington, D.C. 20037
Phone: (202) 470-0196
Email: info AT

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. History, YAF, accessed February 26, 2008.
  2. Susan Piperato (2009-12-10). AION Partners Inks Two Major Leases at 2300 M Street, NW in Washington, DC. NY inc. Retrieved on 2010-05-05. “HQ Global Workplaces will continue to occupy 20,000 square feet office space on the entire eighth floor and a portion of the ninth floor.”