Weyrich, Who Coined 'Moral Majority,' Dead at 66

Conservative thinker gave name to movement key in GOP rise
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2008 1:00 PM CST
The Rev. Jerry Falwell, to whom Weyrich suggested the term "moral majority."   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Paul Weyrich, the influential conservative who co-founded the Heritage Foundation and coined the term “moral majority,” died today at 66, the Washington Post reports, after years of poor health. A reporter, Weyrich got his Washington entree in 1967 as press secretary for a Colorado senator. At a 1979 meeting of the Christian right, Weyrich identified the “moral majority,” which was to become a rallying cry.

In the late 1980s and early ‘90s, Weyrich was on the board of Amtrak, which he would later recommend be dismantled and parceled out to states wanting to fund the railroad. “Paul was one of the giants of the conservative movement,” GOP Rep. John Boehner said, “committed to family, faith, and preserving and expanding freedom both here in America and around the world.”