Turning Point USA, the conservative student organization, announced the death of its co-founder, Bill Montgomery, who was 80.
Caleb Hull, a Republican strategist, announced his death on Twitter and said Montgomery “lost his fight against COVID-19.”
The organization did not immediately respond to an after-hours email from Fox News.
TPUSA wrote on Twitter that Montgomery was iconic in the organization and its “first believer and senior adviser.”
“Bill’s steadfast devotion to his family, his country, and the organization he helped create have left a permanent mark on the entire Turning Point USA community, and by extension an entire generation of students,” the organization wrote.
The organization grew to be a formidable force in the conservative movement and has just recently announced a new initiative encouraging college and university donors who believe their values no longer align with their alma maters to “de-commit” their gifts and redirect the money to different causes – rather than fund “left-wing indoctrination.”
Charlie Kirk, the organization’s other co-founder and president, tweeted Wednesday, “An American hero died today.”’
Hull recalled a text message from Montgomery that he said perfectly described the kind of man he was: “I’m not in this for myself. I don’t want anything in return. I’m not here on this earth for very long and I want to leave this place better than when I started. You’re an important piece of that puzzle I’m trying to figure out for the future and I’m going to help you in any way I can.”
He is survived by his widow Edie, a son and a daughter, the organization said.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report