Nick Anderson | The Washington Post
The Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, a transformative figure in Catholic higher education who led the University of Notre Dame for 35 years and wielded influence with U.S. presidents on civil rights and other charged issues of his era, died Feb. 26 on the university campus. He was 97.
Notre Dame announced the death but did not cite a specific cause.
Father Hesburgh, president of Notre Dame from 1952 to 1987, was considered one of the most important university leaders of the past century. On his watch, the Midwestern school once known mainly for Fighting Irish football became an academic powerhouse that was the pride of Catholic America.