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Jesse Alexander Helms, Jr.
United States Senator
from North Carolina
In office
January 3, 1973 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by B. Everett Jordan
Succeeded by Elizabeth Dole
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
In office
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 2001
Preceded by Claiborne Pell
Succeeded by Joe Biden
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry
In office
January 3, 1981 – January 3, 1987
Preceded by Herman Talmadge
Succeeded by Patrick Leahy
Personal details
Born (1921-10-18)October 18, 1921
Monroe, North Carolina, U.S.
Died July 4, 2008(2008-07-04) (aged 86)
Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.
Resting place Historic Oakwood Cemetery, Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.
Nationality American
Political party Democratic (1942-1970) Republican (1970-2008)
Spouse(s) Dorothy "Dot" Helms
Children 2 daughters, 1 son
Occupation Journalist
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Navy
Years of service 1942 – 1945

Jesse Helms (October 18, 1921 - July 4, 2008) was a Senator from North Carolina. He was also the longest serving senator from that state, serving five terms. He opposed school integration, the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, interracial marriage, civil rights, feminism, gay rights, disability rights, affirmative action, tax increases, the United Nations, foreign aid, communism, and giving government money to art. This gave him the nickname 'Senator No'. He and Strom Thurmond were leaders of the extreme conservatives (people who believe very strongly in right-wing beliefs). Before being a Senator, he was a writer.


He had many problems with his health, including prostate cancer and Paget's disease. He remained in poor health after retirement. He began to have failing memory and confusion. At last, he was moved to a nursing home near his home in Raleigh, North Carolina On July 4, 2008, Helms died of vascular dementia at the age of 86. He is buried in Historic Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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