VanderSloot Recipient of 2015 Horatio Alger Award

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He's one of the most controversial people in Idaho; he's also one of the richest.

Some politicians see Eastern Idaho billionaire Frank VanderSloot, CEO of Melaleuca, as their ATM: He has pumped gobs of cash into GOP political campaigns and super PACs. But he's also been accused of using "thuggish" tactics to silence gay-friendly journalists.

Earlier this year, VanderSloot sued a former reporter from the Idaho Post Register and Mother Jones magazine for defamation. Attorneys for VanderSloot allege that a February 2012 article about their client and two tweets promoting the article prompted national criticism of the Eastern Idaho businessman. 

But VanderSloot was all smiles when it was announced that he would be one of 12 2015 recipients of the Horatio Alger Award, given to "individuals who come from humble backgrounds and later used their success to do good."

VanderSloot and other honorees will be officially welcomed into the Horatio Alger organization during their April 2015 induction ceremonies. VanderSloot is the first Idahoan to be honored by the organization.