The Rev. Jerry Falwell, the television minister whose 1979 founding of the Moral Majority galvanized American religious conservatives into a political force, died Tuesday at age 73.
Falwell was found unconscious and without a pulse in his office at Liberty University, the college he founded in Lynchburg, Virginia, said Ron Godwin, the school’s executive vice president.
Though paramedics tried to revive him at his office and en route to Lynchburg General Hospital, “Those very timely and very efficient and effective efforts were unsuccessful,” Godwin said.
Godwin said he had breakfast with Falwell Tuesday morning and said they talked about the future.
“He seemed to be in good spirits,” Godwin said.
Godwin said they finished breakfast about 9:50 a.m. ET and Falwell went into his office. He was found there about 11:30 a.m. ET.
The minister, who had a history of heart trouble, was pronounced dead of heart failure at 12:40 p.m. Tuesday, his doctor, Carl Moore, told reporters. He had been hospitalized twice in early 2005 with acute onset pulmonary edema, or congestive heart failure, and at one point was placed on a ventilator.
Moore said it was “a little early to speculate” on what caused Falwell’s death, but said he did have a heart condition.
It’s okay, Tinky, you can come out now.