Jesse HelmsU.S. Senator
Born: 18 October 1921
Died: 4 July 2008
Birthplace: Monroe, North Carolina
Best known as: Conservative senator from North Carolina, 1973-2003
Jesse Helms was a five-term senator from North Carolina and a longtime conservative champion. As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee he was one of the most powerful men on Capitol Hill, known as a fierce foe of communism, arms control agreements, and Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Domestically he clashed with liberals over issues ranging from school busing to the National Endowment for the Arts. (He was sometimes called "Senator No" for his implacable opposition to liberal initiatives.) Helms was first elected in 1972, then again in 1978, 1984, 1990, and 1996. He did not run for reelection in 2002 and retired when his term expired in 2003. He was succeeded by Elizabeth Dole.
Extra credit: Helms developed much-publicized friendships with Madeleine Albright (Secretary of State under Bill Clinton) and the rock singer Bono... Helms served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, spending the war as a recruiter in North Carolina... Helms began his career as a newspaper man and was once city editor of the Raleigh Times.
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