• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Jesse Helms, U.S. Senator and Conservative Champion, Dies

    Jesse Helms Awarded Heritage Foundation’s “Highest Honor” for Service to U.S.

    Conservative Sen. Jesse Helms, 86, a truly great American and champion of freedom, died at 1:15 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, Heritage’s highest honor, calling him a “dedicated, unflinching and articulate advocate of conservative policy and principle.”

    In response to today’s 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.

    July 4, 2008, like July 4, 1826, and July 4, 1831, will long be remembered as a very special day in the history of American independence. On the Fourth of July 1826, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died. On the Fourth of July 1831, James Monroe died. On the Fourth of July 2008, another great American patriot, Jesse Helms, died.

    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.

    UPDATE — 12:28 p.m.: Reflections on Helms’ life are pouring in. Ben Domenech has written a wonderful post on RedState, and I’ve offered a few thoughts on my personal blog.

    UPDATE — 6:40 p.m.: Heritage’s Ed Meese, former U.S. attorney general in the Reagan administration, offered these remarks in remembrance of Helms.

    Jesse Helms was a great patriot and a true friend. His strong personal support of Ronald Reagan, both in the campaigns of 1976 and 1980 and in the Senate during the President’s two terms, was a critical element of the success of our 40th President.

    Senator Helms was well known for his love of country and for his innate decency, honor, and courtliness. He respected others, including those with whom he disagreed, and, in return, was respected by them. His example of civility and courtesy should be a model for future generations of legislators, just as his fidelity to the Constitution and First Principles of our nation should inspire all our citizens.

    We will miss Senator Helms, but we should treasure his memory and be grateful for his outstanding career of distinguished service.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities, Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    30 Responses to Jesse Helms, U.S. Senator and Conservative Champion, Dies

    1. heidi says:

      Rest in Peace we have lost a great orator and statesman.

    2. Norm says:

      Great people leave a legacy…between Jesse Helms and Ronald Reagan, collectively they left a legion that is the last hope for America…

    3. Jon P. Speller, PO B says:

      4th of July 2008

      The passing of Senator Jesse Helms on this Fourth of July is a cause of sadness at the death of a great American patriot, and joy that there was a Senator Jesse Helms to courageously carry the torch of freedom against atheistic Communism at so many critical moments in Free World efforts towards the peaceful implosion of the the late unlamented USSR, a victory that owes no small credit to the pyschological stimuli implants that Jesse made. As the author of THE PANAMA CANAL:HEART OF AMERICA'S SECURITY, and also as a former Editor of EAST EUROPE Magazine during the Cold War, I will always be honored to have known Jesse personally, as was my late mentor Captain Miles P. DuVal USN, the foremost expert on the Panama Canal.

      Jon P. Speller, PO Box 93, Jeffersonville NY 12748

    4. Ed Burley Traverse C says:

      Leave it to Helms to die on the Fourth of July.

      RIP

    5. Pingback: Jesse Helms, RIP at Naugblog

    6. Jim Day says:

      A true warrior & patriot.. We need more like him to fight for our rights & freedoms..

      JD

    7. Pingback: Bluey Blog | RobertBluey.com » My Personal Reflections on Jesse Helms

    8. Pingback: Jesse Helms: 1921 - 2008 « Constitution Club

    9. Pingback: Michelle Malkin » Jesse Helms, R.I.P.

    10. Pingback: American Elephant » Blog Archive » R.I.P. Senator Jesse Helms (1921 - 2008)

    11. Pingback: 4 The Cause » Blog Archive » Jesse Helms, US Senator and Conservative Champion, Dies

    12. Pingback: BizzyBlog » RIP …..

    13. Mithat Gashi, New Yo says:

      As a patriotic Albanian American, I would like to express my sadness at the profound loss to our great country that the death of Senator Jesse Helms represents.

      I would like to invite the attention of all to the persistent and consistent support Senator Helms always gave towards the liberation from Communism to my ancestral heritage nation of Albania. It is important to note that millions, yes, millions of people perished under communist dictatorships and Jesse Helms held the torch of freedom that brought hope to many who suffered and perished in communist countries.

      I am sure that great Albanian Cold War hero His Majesty King Leka I of the Albanians mourns as well at the death of his good friend over so many fateful years, Senator Jesse Helms.

      Mithat Gashi,Adjunct Assistant Professor, Lehman College, City University of New York, Bronx, New York

    14. Bill LaNeave , Dayto says:

      I am saddened at the passing of such a great American. It seems a fitting tribute that he would depart this life on the 4th of July as did Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. He will be missed.

    15. Sarah, St Petersburg says:

      I will really miss him. He taught me how to respect our qovernment enough to help fix it and to have faith and to not give up. I just wish he could of hung on some more to see how we can have Peace.. He really loved this country so much that God took him to heaven on one of his favorite days. I hope his Family is in good spirits and know he is finally resting in peace. God Bless you Jesse Helms your legacy will be remembered and carried on.. God Bless America , We lost a very good Person and a very big asset…RIP Sir..

    16. C.A. Fulghum says:

      What an appropriate day for this great man to be in the presence of our Lord-Independence Day!!!

      What words could possibly relate the life of Senator Helms and do justice???!!!

      His influence will continue in our country and the halls of our national government.

      He was a true conservative and one who advanced the cause of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

      I will miss him until the day I die.

      C.A. Fulghum

      Pinehurst, NC

      chasful@gmail.com

    17. Mark, Chicago, IL says:

      Rest in peace.

    18. Doug, North Carolina says:

      I voted for Senator Helms in every election I was old enough to vote in. He was a great American and made me proud to be from North Carolina.

      Rest in peace Jesse. You will be greatly missed.

    19. Pingback: America remembers Jesse Helms « Senate Conservatives Fund

    20. Darrell Mc Neill says:

      I know it's a sad day of the passing of Jesse Helms. However, I also know that it's time for Americans to take the torch from Jesse Helms and others in the Conservative side and to carry it to show other Americans what the Conservative wing believes in and act on. Jesse couldn't do all of the work by himself. To get the message of the right, it takes a group not one person. Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan,and William F. Buckley Jr. each did their part, yet place together formed a movement. It's time for the younger Conservatives step to the plate and start swinging. And not to worry, their all lefties anyway. So, who's with me??? Darrell :)

    21. Pingback: Remembering Jesse Helms « O Insurgente

    22. Pingback: Conservatives And Jesse Helms. « PostBourgie

    23. Pingback: Warum Obamas “Change” das Rennen macht « Neues Und Bekanntes

    24. Stanley, Washington, says:

      While I didn't agree w/ all of Senator Helms beliefs, I respect the life of all human beings. My prayers go out to his family.

    25. Pingback: Former Senator Jesse Helms Dies at 86 | agio

    26. Jon Nelson (Panorama says:

      This man was a national disgrace, an unrepentant bigot who never renounced his hatred of blacks. Jesse Helms would have been right at home in the Ku Klux Klan, whose views dovetailed so well with his own. The fact that there are people who referred to him as a patriot is alarming. The fact that president Bush said so is frightening. I truly fear for my country.

    27. Dave, laguna niguel, says:

      Jon Nelson is obviously a brain-dead liberal. He lies about Helms and disses his heritage,as do all the left wing commie libs, while they extoll the virtues of an actual KKK member in Robert Byrd! But since Byrd is a democrat, well you get the drift. These modern day democrats are totally anti-American and sickening.

    28. Gary Johnson, High P says:

      Jesse Helms is the only politican from NC who I truly admired and respected. I proudly voted for him 4 times only because I was too young to do so in 1972. We need people with conviction and courage to represent America in these dangerous times. The current group of politicans have no values or convictions beyond themselves or continuing to be elected. There are absolute rights and wrongs that must be supported and rejected. Jesse Helms never backed off from doing the right thing and for that I respect his memory. May God bless the Helms family.

    29. Pingback: » MR. RIGHT Notes From D. R.

    30. Antonio, Burke VA says:

      Jesse Helms was one of the best senators of all time. Provided, he did start out racist but he later disowned these beliefs. He was a very Godly man and a great Christian. He almost outlawed abortion. he definitely had a sense of right and wrong. Overall, he was one of the best people America had in the senate.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×