Phyllis Schlafly, the legendary conservative activist, lawyer and author who strung together a career that spanned seven decades, has died.
Schlafly founded the Eagle Forum in 1972, a pro-family conservative group focusing heavily on social issues â€” it has about 80,000 members and, as of this week, Schlafly was still president.
She was 92.
â€œPhyllis Schlafly spent an astounding 70 years in public service of her fellow Americans,â€ said the Eagle Forum in a statement. â€œHer focus from her earliest days until her final ones was protecting the family, which she understood as the building block of life. She recognized America as the greatest political embodiment of those values. From military superiority and defense to immigration and trade; from unborn life to the nuclear family and parenthood, Phyllis Schlafly was a courageous and articulate voice for common sense and traditional values.â€
â€œAmerica has lost a great stateswoman, and we at Eagle Forum and among the conservative movement have lost a beloved friend and mentor, who taught and inspired so many to fight the good fight in defense of American values,â€ said Eunie Smith, Eagle Forumâ€™s first Vice President in a statement to the Associated Press. â€œI have personally lost a dear friend of over 40 years.â€
She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington University in 1944 â€” her masters from Radcliffe College in 1945 â€” and a J.D. from Washington University in 1978.
â€œToday, Phyllis Schlafly passed away in the presence of her family at her home in St. Louis, Missouri,â€ the Eagle Forum posted in a statement on its website.
The group called its founder â€œan indomitable pro-family grassroots advocate and organizer.â€
â€œPhyllis Schlafly spent an astounding 70 years in public service of her fellow Americans. Her focus from her earliest days until her final ones was protecting the family, which she understood as the building block of life. She recognized America as the greatest political embodiment of those values. From military superiority and defense to immigration and trade; from unborn life to the nuclear family and parenthood, Phyllis Schlafly was a courageous and articulate voice for common sense and traditional values.â€
Joseph Farah, founder of WND.com, said the news came as a shock Monday evening.
â€œAs a friend of Phyllisâ€™ for about 30 years, this news is shocking,â€ said Farah. â€œI understand age was catching up with her, but Phyllis was vital and alert right up to the last â€“ churning out brilliant, incisive commentary and always available for wise counsel. It was my privilege to publish her most recent book, â€˜Who Killed the American Family?â€™ and others. Phyllis was well-grounded in her faith and there is no question in my mind she is with her Lord right now. Thatâ€™s the only consolation in this news. Itâ€™s her familyâ€™s loss, her friendsâ€™ loss and the kingdom of heavenâ€™s gain.â€
David Usher, president of the Center for Marriage Policy and a longtime activist on family issues, worked with Schlafly for 30 years.
â€œPhyllis was one of the only conservatives that supported the best leaders in the fathersâ€™ rights movement in the 1990s. She supported my work and that of Dr. Stephen Baskerville, author of â€˜Taken Into Custody,â€™ who now teaches at Patrick Henry College,â€ Usher said. â€œThrough her mentoring, we realized that marriage-absence is everyoneâ€™s problem â€“ fathersâ€™ rights was just another unhappy interest group â€” and we began working on reversing marriage-absence.â€
â€œPhyllis was very supportive of this work in her columns,â€ he continued. â€œMore recently, we developed â€˜supply-side socioeconomics,â€™ a policy framework destined to shrink the welfare state with simple, targeted policies that have the effect of building marriage. Very recently, Phyllis agreed that we are on the right track. She agreed that we either have marriage or big government. Without her wise leadership and uplifting support, we would never have learned or developed this. Going forward, we hope to replace much of the welfare state with marriage and economic success, particularly in troubled low-income areas. We will grow Phyllisâ€™s great legacy into the future, in her honor.â€
Schlafly was a constitutional lawyer, the author of 27 books and a public speaker. Her latest book, from co-authors Ed Martin and Brett Decker, is set to be released on Tuesday. It lays out how GOP nominee Donald Trump is â€œa surprising conservative choiceâ€ for president, the Washington Times reported.
According to Federal Election Commission reports, a political action committee bearing her name was registered by Ed Martin, the president of the Eagle Forum. Itâ€™s called Phyllis Schlaflyâ€™s Eagle PAC.