Blake Masters

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Blake Masters

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For the screenwriter, see Blake Masters (screenwriter).

Blake Masters
Masters in 2022
BornBlake Gates Masters
August 5, 1986 (age 36)
Denver, Colorado, U.S.
EducationStanford University (BAJD)
OccupationVenture capitalistAuthor
Employer(s)Thiel CapitalThiel Foundation (former)
Known forZero to One
Political partyRepublican
SpouseCatherine Blanton ​(m. 2012)​

Blake Gates Masters (born August 5, 1986) is an American venture capitalist, political candidate, and author. Masters co-wrote Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future with Peter Thiel in 2014, based on notes Masters had taken at Stanford Law School in 2012. Masters was later chief operating officer of Thiel’s investment firm, Thiel Capital, and also president of the Thiel Foundation. He has frequently been referred to as Thiel’s protégé.[1]

Masters is the Republican Party nominee in the 2022 U.S. Senate election in Arizona, having defeated state Attorney General Mark Brnovich and businessman Jim Lamon in the August 2 primary. Throughout his campaign, he has aligned himself with Thiel and former president Donald Trump, both of whom endorsed him in June 2022. As of July 2022, Thiel had spent $15 million in support of Masters’ campaign.[2]


Early life and education[edit]

Masters was born in Denver, Colorado, in 1986, the son of Marilyn, who ran a tutoring center, and Scott Masters, who worked in the software industry.[3] He grew up in Tucson, Arizona.[4] In high school, Masters attended Green Fields Country Day School, which was at the time a private school in Tucson, where he played basketball.[5] He graduated in 2004. Masters received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Stanford University in 2008.[6] He then earned a J.D. from Stanford University Law School in 2012.[7]

Chat room and blog post controversy[edit]

As a teenage undergraduate, Masters expressed his political views on a CrossFit chat room and a LiveJournal blog. In a 2006 essay obliquely criticizing the War in Iraq on the libertarian site, Masters decried U.S. entry into World War I and described a quote from Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering, on the susceptibility of the masses to incitements of war, as being “particularly representative and poignant”.[8][9] He also endorsed conspiracy theorist G. Edward Griffin‘s claim that the “Houses of Morgan and Rothschild” were linked to the sinking of the Lusitania.[10]

During his college years, he contended that Iraq and al-Qaeda were not “substantial threats to Americans”, calling for “unrestricted immigration” and an isolationist foreign policy.[10]

On his 2006 writings, Masters told the Jewish Insider in 2022, “I was 19, writing in opposition to the Iraq War — a stance that turned out to be prescient. I went too far and stated that no recent American wars have been just.” He added: “I suppose it was only a matter of time before I got called antisemitic for criticizing wartime propaganda in an essay I wrote as a teenager.”[10]

Masters’ posts became a political issue after they were unearthed during his 2022 Senate campaign.[10][11] The Anti-Defamation League criticized Masters, and his primary rival Jim Lamon ran television ads highlighting the posts.[10]

Work with Peter Thiel and political involvement[edit]

Masters spent four months in 2010 as a law clerk for a U.S. Attorney’s Office.[12] In January 2011 he met Thiel at Stanford Law School. They exchanged emails with each other a year later and Thiel invited Masters to attend a class he was to teach in spring 2012. Masters would post detailed notes from Thiel’s lectures on a blog which grew popular within the tech community.[13] Renditions of Masters’ notes reappeared online, prompting Masters to get in contact with Thiel about compiling them into a book.[13] Zero to One was released in September 2014 and received warm reviews from The Atlantic and Publishers Weekly.[14][15] According to Politico, the book portrayed “globalization as the enemy of innovation.”[16] Masters was included on Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2014.[17]

Masters co-founded Judicata, a legal research service, in 2013. The website officially launched in 2017, though Masters left the project in 2014.[18] The website was acquired by Fastcase in 2020.[19] After meeting Thiel, Masters went to work for him, becoming chief operating officer of the investment firm Thiel Capital and president of the Thiel Foundation.[20][21] Thiel chose Masters and other employees to assist in the presidential transition of Donald Trump in November 2016.[22][23]

In October 2019, Masters suggested he would launch a primary challenge against Republican U.S. Senator Martha McSally, expressing concern McSally was not a good candidate and criticizing her loss in the 2018 election, which Masters said was a “winnable” race.[24] In January 2020, Masters said he would not run against McSally.[25]

In March 2022, Masters resigned from his positions at Thiel’s investment firm and foundation to campaign in the 2022 Arizona Senate race.[21][26]

2022 U.S. Senate election[edit]

Main article: 2022 United States Senate election in Arizona


Masters speaking at the Rally to Protect Our Elections, hosted by Turning Point Action

Republican primary results by county





In April 2021, Masters reappeared as a potential candidate for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2022, challenging incumbent Democrat Mark Kelly. Masters’ benefactor Thiel spent $10 million to seed a new pro-Masters super PAC, “Saving Arizona PAC,” to promote Masters’ candidacy.[21][27] Masters officially entered the race in July 2021,[28][29] and Thiel gave an additional $3.5 million to the pro-Masters super PAC in May 2022.[21][30]

In the Republican primary race, Masters faced state Attorney General Mark Brnovich, former Arizona National Guard Adjutant General Mick McGuire, Arizona Corporation Commissioner Justin Olson, and businessman Jim Lamon.[31][32] The Republican primary campaign was characterized by high campaign spending and a wave of negative campaign advertisements.[32]

During a Republican primary debate, Masters said that he supported impeaching President Joe Biden and removing him from office.[33]

Masters issued non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to fundraise for his campaign, announcing that the first 99 donors to contribute over $5,800 to his campaign would receive a limited edition NFT that would allow access to a private chat server and live events, as well as a copy of his book signed by Masters and Thiel.[34][35] Within the first 36 hours, Masters raised $575,000 for his campaign from selling NFTs.[36]

Along with Thiel and Ohio Senate candidate J. D. Vance, Masters has been influenced by Curtis Yarvin, a neoreactionary blogger who writes under the name Mencius Moldbug.[37] Masters has encouraged people to read Industrial Society and Its Future, the manifesto of Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, for its analysis of the negative impact of technology on society; he pointed to Kaczynski as an example of a “subversive thinker” who should be more widely known.[37][38]

Masters won the Republican nomination in the August 2, 2022, primary with about 40% of the vote. Lamon finished second; Brnovich was third.[39]

Political views and statements[edit]

Masters at a Trump rally in 2022

Masters considers himself “an America first conservative”,[23][40] and Politico described his campaign platform as “hard-line nationalist“.[41]


Masters opposes abortion and has criticized Griswold v. Connecticut, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that recognized a constitutional right to obtain contraceptives, although he has said that he does not want to outlaw contraception.[42] Masters said that if elected to the Senate, he would vote to confirm federal judicial nominees only if they “understand that Roe and Griswold and Casey were wrongly decided”.[43]

In August 2022, following the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization U.S. Supreme Court case that overruled Roe v. Wade, Masters “scrubbed” his campaign website and “softened his rhetoric” by “rewriting or erasing five of his six positions” on abortion including the removal of his “100% pro-life” text.[44] His position, as of August 2022, is that he favors “a federal personhood law that would ban abortions nationwide after the beginning of the third trimester”, unless the life of the mother is at risk.[45]

Gun violence[edit]

While campaigning on a talk show, Masters said the “gun violence problem” was an issue, saying, “It’s gangs. It’s people in Chicago, St. Louis shooting each other. Very often, you know, Black people, frankly. And the Democrats don’t want to do anything about that.”[46]


Masters believes in reducing the amount of legal immigration.[47] He has embraced the Great Replacement conspiracy theory popular among White nationalists by asserting that Democrats want to deliberately engineer demographic replacement of American white people via immigration.[48] He has claimed that illegal immigration will “change the demographics of this country”[48] and in a campaign ad said, “We’re going to end this invasion”.[49] Masters denies that he promotes the great replacement theory, but blames Democrats for encouraging illegal immigration to “import” new voters for their party.[50]

2020 presidential election[edit]

Masters has been a leading figure supporting Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen”.[51] In June 2021, Masters said that “it’s really hard to know” the winner of the 2020 presidential election,[52] and supported an audit of the vote in Maricopa County.[52] In a November 2021 campaign ad, Masters stated he thought “Trump won in 2020”. He appeared at a fundraiser with the former president at Mar-a-Lago shortly afterward.[53] Trump endorsed his candidacy in June 2022.[51][54]

In August 2022, CNN reported that Masters had removed text from his campaign website that “included the false claim that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump, along with a section arguing the country would be better off if Trump was still the president.”[55]

Other issues[edit]

Masters opposes American aid to Ukraine.[42] Masters has suggested privatizing Social Security,[56][57] but has opposed cuts and in August 2022 he indicated support for increases to the program.[58]

Meeting with conservative Tea Party activists in March 2022, Masters questioned the extent of the FBI‘s involvement in the January 6 United States Capitol attack.[59]

Although Masters has invested in several technology firms, as has Thiel,[42] he frequently criticizes “Big Tech“.[42][60] He supported the proposed acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk and called for legislation to treat major social media companies as “common carriers” and to regulate Google’s search algorithm.[60] Masters has called for a “federal Bitcoin reserve.”[30]

In August 2021, Masters called for new leadership in the United States Armed Forces due to perceived political leanings, saying “I would love to see all the generals get fired. You take the most conservative colonels, you promote them to general.”[61]

Personal life[edit]

Masters married Catherine Blanton in 2012.[62] They have three sons.[40]


  1. ^ Sources that call Masters a protégé of Thiel include:
  2. ^ Allison, Natalie (July 22, 2022). “Thiel drops another $1.5M for Masters as campaign feels cash pinch”POLITICO. Retrieved July 2

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