Jerry Falwell Jr.

Last updated on 23 May 2017

Jerry Lamon Falwell Jr. (born June 17, 1962) is an American lawyer and university administrator. He serves as the president of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, appointed in 2007 upon his father's death.

Jerry Falwell Jr commencement.jpg
Jerry Falwell Jr commencement.jpg

Early life

Jerry Falwell, Jr. was born on June 17, 1962. His father was Jerry Falwell. He attended private schools in the Lynchburg area, attending Lynchburg Christian Academy, where he graduated in 1980, and attended Liberty University, where he obtained his B.A. in Religious Studies in 1984. Falwell then attended the University of Virginia School of Law, where he obtained his J.D. in 1987.

Career

Falwell is licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia to practice law in Virginia, United States District Courts in both Eastern and Western districts of Virginia, the Fourth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals, and before the Supreme Court of the United States. Since 1987, he has served in private practice, being the General Counsel of his father's entities, serving on the Board of Trustees of Liberty University in 2000, and later serving as Vice Chancellor from 2003 until his father's death, and as Chancellor since then.

Falwell stated during one of the University's Convocations that he thought that, if, speaking of the 2015 San Bernardino attack, "some of those people had got what I have in my back pocket right now," that it would not have happened. He said that he was astounded that President Barack Obama's answer to the problem was more gun control. He "always thought that, if more good people had concealed-carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in and killed them." His comments were criticized by both Christians and Muslims. According to one report, Falwell was only heard saying "then we could end those Muslims before they walked in", with the "and killed them" part drowned out by applause. Falwell later said he was referring to Muslims committing terrorist attacks and not Muslims in general.

On January 26, 2016 Falwell announced his endorsement of Donald Trump for the Republican Nomination in the 2016 Presidential Election; causing some Liberty University alumni and other Christians to express concern that Falwell had "sold his soul." On July 21, 2016 at the RNC convention in Cleveland, Ohio, Falwell Jr. called Trump "America's blue collar billionaire" and "one of the greatest visionaries of our time" in his endorsement of the candidate he felt most likely to defend the "right to bear arms," "stop Iran...from becoming a nuclear power," and "appoint conservative pro-life justices to the Supreme Court." In an August 19, 2016 editorial in the Washington Post, Falwell compared Trump to Winston Churchill: "We need a leader with qualities that resemble those of Winston Churchill, and I believe that leader is Donald Trump."

In January 2017, Falwell was appointed by President Trump to chair a taskforce on reforms for the United States Department of Education.

Personal life

Falwell is married to Becki Tilley. They had three children. They live on a farm in Bedford County, Virginia.

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