Paul Weyrich Dead at 66
Paul Weyrich has died. Rob Bluey:
Paul M. Weyrich, chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation and first president of The Heritage Foundation, died this morning around 1 a.m. He was 66 years old. Weyrich was a good friend to many of us at Heritage, a true leader and a man of unbending principle. He won Heritage’s prestigious Clare Boothe Luce Award in 2005.
Weyrich will be deeply missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, including son Steve, who currently works at Heritage.
Sad news. Oddly, I never realized he was Heritage’s first president. It seems like Heritage has been around forever, but it actually started in 1973. Weyrich would have been only 30 or 31 at the time (he was born October 7; I don’t know what month Heritage opened its doors).
- Doug Bandow: “Paul … an indefatigable conservative activist, was friend and colleague. While we disagreed on some issues—his conservatism tended more towards the social, while mine moved in a libertarian direction—he was a fine gentleman who did much to promote individual liberty and limited government. We have lost a good man.”
- Grover Norquist: “The idea of individual liberty and a limited constitutional government has been around a long time. Liberty doesn’t need new ideas to advance, but institutions to give muscle and skeletal structure to a political movement for liberty. That is how Paul Weyrich changed the world for the better.”
UPDATE: Here’s the AP report.
Conservative activist Paul Weyrich, who coined the phrase “moral majority” and helped turn social conservatives into a powerful force in the Republican Party, died Thursday. He was 66.
Lee Edwards, a Heritage Foundation scholar and a friend, said Weyrich had suffered from ill health in recent years and had both legs amputated.
At his death, Weyrich was chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation, a conservative think tank. His latest commentary, posted on the foundation’s Web site with Thursday’s date, was titled: “The next Conservatism, a Serious Agenda for the Future.” In it he wrote: “It is the worst of times because conservatives appear lost and without a serious agenda or a means of explaining such an agenda to the public.” But he also “it is the best of times” because conservative thinkers are generating ideas and proposals for a ‘Next Conservatism,’ which will lead to substantive debate about the nation’s core principles and its future direction.
That process will continue in his absence.