Heritage Foundation founder Weyrich dead

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Paul M. Weyrich has died of unspecified causes at the age of 66, ending a life that included founding Washington's Heritage Foundation, an official says.

An unidentified foundation spokesman said Weyrich died Thursday in an undisclosed location following years of declining health that included a diabetes diagnosis and having both his legs amputated below the knee in 2005, The Washington Post said.


In addition to founding the Heritage Foundation, Weyrich founded the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation and served on the board of railway giant Amtrak.

Weyrich was also credited with coining the popular political phrase "moral majority" during a 1979 religious gathering.

House Minority Leader John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, remembered Weyrich as an inspiring force in the conservative political world.

"Paul was one of the giants of the conservative movement, a man committed to family, faith, and preserving and expanding freedom both here in America and around the world," the U.S. representative told the Post of Weyrich, who had no reported survivors.

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