Brittany Corl | ABC57 News
The man who led the University of Notre Dame for 35 years, took calls from the pope and presidents and was key in the fight for civil rights has died.
University officials tell ABC 57 Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, who served as president of the University of Notre Dame from 1952 to 1987, passed away at the age of 97 at 11:30 p.m. Thursday.
Hesburgh was a priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross and one of the nation's most influential figures in higher education.
Hesburgh died Thursday night at Holy Cross House adjacent to the University.
"We mourn today a great man and faithful priest who transformed the University of Notre Dame and touched the lives of many," said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame's president. "With his leadership, charisma, and vision, he turned a relatively small Catholic college known for football into one of the nation's great institutions for higher learning.