Conservative Sen. Jesse Helms, 86, a truly great American and champion of freedom, died at 1:18 a.m. today. Helms, who gave our country three decades of service as a U.S. senator from North Carolina, was ill in recent years.
Heritage President Ed Feulner (pictured at right with Helms and his wife Dorothy) presented Helms in 2002 with the Clare Boothe Luce Award, Heritages highest honor, calling him a dedicated, unflinching and articulate advocate of conservative policy and principle.
In response to todays sad news, Feulner offered this statement:
“Jesse Helms was one of the most consequential figures of the 20th century. Along with Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, he helped establish the conservative movement and became a powerful voice for free markets and free people. The defeat of Soviet communism and the rise of Ronald Reagan would not have happened without his intrepid leadership at decisive times.
He was the longest serving U.S. senator from North Carolina and a great friend to The Heritage Foundation. Although America has lost a great Patriot, his legacy will live on.”
Truly consequential and historic conservative. Rest in peace, and thank you greatly for all you did and defended, Sen. Helms.