He blamed gays and lesbians for the 9/11 terrorist attacks and made himself a household name by claiming Teletubbie Tinky Winky was gay.

Now the founder of the Moral Majority, the Reverend Jerry Falwell, is dead at 73.

Ron Godwin, Liberty University’s executive vice president, told Associated Press Falwell had been found unresponsive in his office at around 10:45 a.m. yesterday and was taken to Lynchburg General Hospital.

Falwell had a history of heart problems, and while Godwin said he was unsure what caused the collapse, he said the televangelist and outspoken anti-gay rights activist was fine when the two shared breakfast earlier this morning.

Falwell founded the Moral Majority in 1979 and became the face of the religious right in the 1980s. He later founded the conservative Liberty University and served as the school’s chancellor.

Falwell had a long-time history of taking the LGBT community to task.

From the publishing of his monthly National Liberty Journal, which frequently attacks the “gay and lesbian agenda”, to a much publicised 1984 libel case in which he was ordered to pay gay rights activist Jerry Sloan $5,000 for potentially career-damaging comments, Falwell has always been at odds with the community.

The outspoken activist released a straight to video documentary called The Clinton Chronicles in 1994, attempting to link the former president to a cocaine smuggling ring.

When interviewed for 2005’s documentary The Hunting of the President, he admitted: “To this day I do not know the accuracy of the claims made in The Clinton Chronicles,” according to Reuters.

At a live press conference held yesterday afternoon, a doctor confirmed Falwell had died of of “cardiac arrhythmia, or sudden cardiac death.”

© 2007 GayWired.com; All Rights Reserved