Conservative leader Paul Weyrich dies

WASHINGTON — Co-founder and former president of The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, Weyrich, passed away Thursday, Dec. 18. He was 66 years old.

Gary Bauer, president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families called Weyrich a "larger than life figure in the conservative movement."

"My heart broke today when I heard of the passing of Paul Weyrich. The conservative movement lost a great strategist. America lost a great patriot, and I've lost a great friend," said Bauer in a press release. "His legacy lives on in all that he has built and all those whom he has challenged and trained to take up the mantle of leadership."

For more than thirty years Weyrich was a fixture in Washington as a man of principle. He was one of the three founders of the Moral Majority.

"The conservative movement has lost a leader of unparalleled depth and breadth of influence," Beverly LaHaye, Founder and Chairman of Concerned Women for America, said. "Paul Weyrich, a giant of faith, was more than a vital force for uniting Judeo-Christian principles with democratic processes, he was also a warm and generous friend and a faithful follower of His Lord. He leaves a great vacuum in the conservative movement."

Weyrich was currently the CEO and chairman of the Free Congress Foundation, another conservative think tank. His latest commentary, posted on the foundation's Web site with Thursday, December 18th's date, is called "The next Conservatism, a Serious Agenda for the Future."

He is survived by his wife, Joyce, five children and several grandchildren.