Liberty Institute was established in 1972 by Richard and Julie Ford. In 1987, it changed the name from Foundation for an Informed Electorate to the Free Market Foundation. At that time, the foundation formalized its mission to strengthen and protect faith, family, freedom and free enterprise of Texas citizens through research and education.
Since 1989, Free Market has operated in association with Dr. James Dobson's Focus on the Family, though it is financially independent and is governed by an independent board of directors. In 1997, Kelly Shackelford joined the Foundation as president.
Throughout the past 27 years, Free Market has remained committed to serving as educational resource for Texas families.