Jerry Falwell, the late TV preacher, founded the Moral Majority and served as the face of the Religious Right for many years. Falwell enjoyed national prominence during the late 1970s and ‘80s when his movement was courted by Republican Party officials, and he was frequently quoted in the media. At the same time, Falwell built up Thomas Road Baptist Church and Liberty University, both based in Lynchburg, Va.
Although Falwell became less prominent in the 1990s, he continued to raise funds by attacking church-state separation. He frequently stated that nothing in the Constitution sanctioned that concept and insisted that the United States was founded to be a Christian nation. He earned nationwide contempt when he said America deserved the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks because of the work of Pagans, abortion providers, feminists and gays.
Falwell died in May of 2007, leaving his sprawling Religious Right empire in the hands of his two sons, Jerry Falwell Jr. and Jonathan Falwell.