About Paul Weyrich

Paul M. Weyrich was Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation. He served as President of the foundation from 1977 to 2002. From 1989 to 1996, Mr. Weyrich served as President of the Kreible Institute of the Free Congress Foundation, responsible for training democracy movements in the states comprising the Former Soviet Empire.

He was a founder and past director of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the founding president of the Heritage Foundation, and the National Chairman of Coalitions for America. A former reporter and radio news director, Mr. Weyrich was a regular guest on daily radio and television talk shows. A sought-after writer, Mr. Weyrich published policy reports and journals on a variety of conservative issues and contributed editorials to The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.

He was described by The Economist as “one of the conservative movement’s more vigorous thinkers.” Voted three years in a row from 1981 – 1983 by readers of Conservative Digest as one of the top three “most popular conservatives in America not in Congress,” Mr. Weyrich was named by Regardie’s Magazine as “one of the 100 most powerful Washingtonians.” He was married since 1963 to the former Joyce Smigun, with whom he had five children, and served as a deacon in his church.

Paul Weyrich died on December 18, 2008 after a long illness.

The Heritage Foundation released this statement on his passing: “Paul M. Weyrich, chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation and the first president of The Heritage Foundation, died this morning around 1 a.m. He was 66 years old. Weyrich was a good friend to many of us at Heritage, a true leader and a man of unbending principle. He won Heritage’s prestigious Clare Boothe Luce Award in 2005. Weyrich will be deeply missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, including son Steve, who currently works at Heritage.”

Sponsor Organizations


Let Freedom Ring

60 Plus



Accuracy in Media

Judicial Watch

Right to Work

Heritage Foundation