Jerry Falwell Jr.

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Jerry Falwell Jr.
File:Jerry Falwell Jr commencement.jpg
Born Jerry Lamon Falwell Jr.
(1962-06-17) June 17, 1962 (age 59)
Lynchburg, Virginia, U.S.
Residence Bedford County, Virginia
Alma mater Liberty University (BA)
University of Virginia (JD)
Known for President of Liberty University
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Becki Tilley
Children 3

Jerry Lamon Falwell Jr. (/ˈfɔːlwɛl/; 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.

Early life

Jerry Falwell Jr. was born on June 17, 1962.[1] 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.[1] Falwell then attended the University of Virginia School of Law, where he obtained his J.D. in 1987.[1]


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.[citation needed] 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.[1]

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."[2][3] His comments were criticized by both Christians[4] and Muslims.[5] 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.[6]

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."[7] 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." [8] 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."[9]

In June 2016, Falwell expressed support for Israel when Liberty University moved to invest $5 million of its endowment in Israel. Falwell stated, "Liberty is glad to be part of supporting the only democracy that’s a close ally of the United States (in an area) that is in such turmoil right now."[10]

In January 2017, Falwell was appointed by President Trump to chair a taskforce on reforms for the United States Department of Education.[11]

In April 2017, Falwell referred to Trump as the "dream president" for evangelicals, and cited "uniting with Israel" and appointing "people of faith" in his administration as the reason why evangelicals support Trump.[12]

Personal life

Falwell is married to Becki Tilley.[1] They have three children and live on a farm in Bedford County, Virginia.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "Jerry Falwell: President". Liberty University. Retrieved January 31, 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Jim DeMint — The Integration of Politics and Spiritual Maturity. Lynchburg, Virginia. December 4, 2015. Event occurs at 46:53. Retrieved October 18, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Manch, Rob (December 9, 2015). "Jerry Falwell, Jr. defends his statements about Muslims and gun control opposition". WSLS 10. Lynchburg, Virginia. Retrieved October 18, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Merritt, Jonathan. "Jerry Falwell Jr.'s Troubling Remarks on Guns". The Atlantic. Retrieved 28 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Wheaton, Oliver. "University President: 'If more people had guns, we could end those Muslims'". Metro. Retrieved 2015-12-06. Falwell has been accused of ‘anti-Muslim bigotry’ by Ibrahim Hooper from the Council on Islamic-American Relations.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Tobi Walsh and Jessie Pounds. "Update:Falwell defends convocation remarks - 'I'm not backing down'". Lynchburgh News and Advance. Retrieved 2015-12-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Clark, Heather (27 January 2016). "Liberty University Alumni Express Concerns About Falwell After 'Soul Selling' Trump Endorsement". Christian News Network. Retrieved 28 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Rohr, Alex (21 July 2016). "Falwell's GOP convention speech echoes his father". Lynchburgh News and Advance. Retrieved 29 July 2016. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Falwell, Jerry Jr. (August 19, 2016) "Jerry Falwell Jr.: Trump is the Churchillian leader we need.". Washington Post. (Retrieved 8-22-2016.)
  11. Blumenstyk, Goldie (January 31, 2017). "Jerry Falwell Jr. Says He Will Lead Federal Task Force on Higher-Ed Policy". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved January 31, 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links