Far-right activist, author Phyllis Schlafly dies at 92

5 months 3 weeks 20 minutes ago September 05, 2016 Sep 5, 2016 Monday, September 05 2016 Monday, September 05, 2016 8:20:14 PM CDT in News
By: The Associated Press and Lauren Petterson, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
Photo credit: The Associated Press.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Outspoken conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, who helped defeat the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s and founded the Eagle Forum political group, has died at age 92.

The Eagle Forum announced her death in a statement Monday. Her son John Schlafly said she died of cancer Monday afternoon at her home in St. Louis.

Schlafly rose to national attention in 1964 with her self-published book, "A Choice Not an Echo," that became a manifesto for the far right. It chronicled the history of the Republican National Convention, sold three million copies and helped conservative Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater earn the 1964 GOP nomination.

She graduated from college at 19, while working at a factory during World War II, and later earned master's and law degrees.

But she once said that perhaps her greatest legacy was the ultraconservative Eagle Forum, which she founded in suburban St. Louis in 1972.

Missouri Republicans responded to Schlafly's death.

“America has lost a national treasure and conservative icon," Chairman of the Missouri Republican Party John Hancock said in a statement. "Less than two months ago, I had the honor of celebrating her years of service to the Republican Party and the conservative movement on the floor of the Republican National Convention, which Phyllis has attended faithfully since the 1950s. Phyllis’ passion and effectiveness will certainly be missed, but her legacy will endure for generations to come.”

"The public arena is a rough and tumble environment but, for over six decades, Phyllis Schlafly was a constant presence in the most important public policy debates of our time," Missouri Secretary of State candidate Jay Ashcroft said in a statement. "Katie and I are deeply saddened to learn of her passing today. We will keep Phyllis' family, friends and loved ones in our prayers." 

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) posted on Twitter about Schlafly's work:

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