Jerry Lamon Falwell, Sr. (August 11, 1933 – May 15, 2007) was an American fundamentalist Christian pastor and televangelist. He was the founding pastor of the Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia. He founded Liberty University in 1971 and co-founded the Moral Majority in 1979.
Cause of Death – "cardiac arrhythmia, age 73
Falwell led services at Thomas Road Baptist Church, a megachurch in Lynchburg, Virginia. He changed affiliations from Baptist Bible Fellowship International to the mainly conservative Southern Baptist Convention, and ended his self-identification with fundamentalism in favor of evangelicalism.
In early 2005, Falwell was hospitalized for two weeks with a viral infection, discharged, and then rehospitalized on May 30, 2005, in respiratory arrest. President George W. Bush contacted Falwell to "wish him well." He was subsequently released from the hospital and returned to his duties. Later in 2005, a stent was implanted to treat a 70% blockage in his coronary arteries.
On May 15, 2007, CNN and USA Today reported Falwell had been found without pulse and unconscious in his office about 10:45 am after missing a morning appointment and was taken to Lynchburg General Hospital.
"I had breakfast with him, and he was fine at breakfast… He went to his office, I went to mine and they found him unresponsive." said Godwin, the executive vice president of Falwell’s Liberty University.
His condition was initially reported as "gravely serious"; CPR was administered unsuccessfully. As of 2:10 pm, during a live press conference, a doctor for the hospital confirmed that Falwell had died of "cardiac arrhythmia, or sudden cardiac death." A statement issued by the hospital reported he was pronounced dead at Lynchburg General Hospital at 12:40 pm, EST. Falwell’s family, including his wife Macel and sons Jerry Falwell, Jr. and Jonathan Falwell, were with him at the hospital
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