Concept

Jesse Helms

Summary
Jesse Alexander Helms Jr. (October 18, 1921 – July 4, 2008) was an American politician. A leader in the conservative movement, he served as a senator from North Carolina from 1973 to 2003. As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 1995 to 2001, he had a major voice in foreign policy. Helms helped organize and fund the conservative resurgence in the 1970s, focusing on Ronald Reagan's quest for the White House as well as helping many local and regional candidates. On domestic social issues, Helms opposed civil rights, disability rights, environmentalism, feminism, gay rights, affirmative action, access to abortions, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He brought an "aggressiveness" to his conservatism, as in his rhetoric against homosexuality. The Almanac of American Politics wrote that "no American politician is more controversial, beloved in some quarters and hated in others, than Jesse Helms". As chairman of the powerful S
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