John Von Kannon, a leading figure in the conservative movement, died at his home in Washington on Saturday following a year-long battle with cancer. He was 66. At the time of his death, he was serving as vice president and senior counselor of The Heritage Foundation, the nation’s leading conservative think tank.

A fundraiser par excellence, Von Kannon’s career spanned four decades.  During that time, he raised more than a billion dollars. His prowess helped transform a fledgling intellectual effort to reconnect America to the principles of its Founding Fathers into an extensive network of non-profit organizations—state and national think tanks, public interest legal groups, education centers and publications—working to expand freedom in the U.S. and around the world.

Von Kannon got his start in the late 1960s while attending Indiana University, where he became an active member of Young Americans for Freedom. (He would later serve on the organization’s national Board of Directors.) Von Kannon and a handful of undergraduates joined R. Emmett (Bob) Tyrrell, Jr., who founded a campus magazine to challenge and satirize the radically progressive views then dominating the university. In 1972, they decided to turn the magazine, now incorporated as a 501 (c)(3) organization, into a national publication—The American Spectator.

Tyrrell informed Von Kannon that he was no longer a managing editor. Rather, he was now the publisher—and responsible for raising money. And so a fund-raiser was reluctantly born.

“Though he had no formal training, John was a natural fundraiser,” said Ed Feulner, a founder of the Heritage Foundation who hired Von Kannon in 1980 to assist with the think tank’s development operations. Von Kannon was named treasurer a year later, then promoted to vice president for development and treasurer several years after that.

“John never viewed himself as a ‘rainmaker,’ but always as a ‘matchmaker,’” Feulner recalled. “When John met potential donors, he’d spend most of his time listening. He wanted to learn their core values, what they cared about most and what their goals were—and then he’d introduce them to the people and organizations that held similar values and could advance those goals for them.”

“John Von Kannon had ‘personality to burn,’” said Heritage President Jim DeMint, “a keen intellect and an absolutely outrageous sense of humor.” But, DeMint added, “most important of all, he had tremendous empathy and a passion for making America a nation that truly offers freedom and opportunity for all. His sense of mission led him to understand that fundraising is not about extracting money from someone, but about marshalling resources to advance a shared goal.”

Von Kannon’s approach has worked well for Heritage. When he joined to the think tank in 1980, it had a budget of $3.7 million budget, fueled primarily by a few major donors and 120,000 “small-dollar” direct mail donors. Under his leadership, the donor base grew to more than a half-million, making Heritage the most broadly supported think tank in the world. Their contributions totaled more than $91 million last year.

Von Kannon spent all but three of the last 35 years at Heritage. In 1988, he left to become vice president of Pacific Legal Foundation, a public interest law foundation in Sacramento, Calif. The following year he led Russell & Von Kannon as president of that marketing and consulting firm in suburban Chicago. He rejoined Heritage in 1991.

Earlier this year, Heritage presented Von Kannon with its highest honor: the Clare Boothe Luce Award. This award recognizes outstanding leadership and dedication to the conservative cause. Past recipients of the award include conservative icons Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and William F. Buckley Jr.

In announcing the award, Heritage Chairman Thomas Saunders III noted that, while Von Kannon had been “instrumental in building Heritage into America’s leading conservative institution,” he had also “helped grow countless other organizations dedicated to preserving and advancing the ideals and principles of the Founding Fathers.”

In 2012, Ashland University’s Ashbrook Center presented Von Kannon with its John Ashbrook Award in recognition of his 40-year commitment to upholding the ideals of limited constitutional government and advancing the conservative movement. He was also an elected “distinguished member” of The Philadelphia Society, America’s leading organization of conservative thinkers.

In addition to his duties at Heritage, Von Kannon served as a trustee of FREE, the Foundation for Research on the Economics of the Environment in Bozeman, Mont. He was also a trustee of four grant-making institutions and worked regularly with a wide range of state and national conservative organizations.

Von Kannon is survived by his wife, Cindy, and their two teenage children, Rachel and Jack.

Comments (175)

Leon Stevens - September 7, 2015

I’m praying for the comfort for the family
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”..

Lynne Bonvillian - September 7, 2015

It is so sad that we continue to lose so many wonderful men and women. Mr. Von Kannon
contributed much to this foundation and to the people who supported it. I am sure he will be
greatly missed.

Cynthia Jousan - September 7, 2015

What a tremendous lose for his family and friends, but also a lose for the conservation movement. I pray his life’s work leads to our new Independence Day.

Henryk B Zaleski - September 7, 2015

I do not know you personally Mr. John Von Kannon, but I know a little about your work and I am grateful. You are missed. May the Lord God show you the light of His face and show you the beauty of paradise.

John Huston - September 7, 2015

God’s speed, John. My condolences to Cindy and the family.

Pamela Hart - September 7, 2015

What an honorable man he was. The Heritage Family will surely miss him. My condolences to the family. God Bless John.

Constance Hingert - September 7, 2015

You will be so missed.
To the family of John our heartfelt condolences. We lost a great man.

Jennine Wessell - September 7, 2015

We grieve with you for the loss of John
Von Kannon, but Heaven in Jesus’ presence is all that much richer

Paul M. League, QFP, CFP - September 7, 2015

Please accept heartfelt condolences for John’s passing. His exemplary efforts on behalf of God, Country and Family will be forever remembered and celebrated for eternity. He is forever present with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Mary Santomauro - September 7, 2015

Requiest in pace!

Jack Simpson - September 7, 2015

May God grant his family and friends His peace and comfort. May He instill in them the knowledge that they will see him again.
Everyone who’s lives he touched were improved and made better. I ask the Father to give him a mansion supreme. I ask all this in Jesus name, Amen.

+Bill Sturdivant - September 7, 2015

Heartfelt condolences from the Sturdivant Family to a fellow conservative.

Paul Teller - September 7, 2015

A great man. May he rest in peace, and may his loved ones and colleagues find strength in his memory…

David Bolton - September 7, 2015

My heartfelt condolences to the family he left behind.
God knows his heart and the memory of his great works will live forever.

Millie - September 7, 2015

God bless his family and friends. May Gods peace and rest be solice to you all at this time. He lifts up those who are righteous. I’m sure Johns resting in the arms of Jesus now. I’m praying for you all.

Arlene Schwartz - September 7, 2015

May he Rest In Peace. He will be missed.

Mr. and Mrs.Dante Zanoni - September 7, 2015

God bless and comfort his dear family and all who love him. We are grateful to him for all he has done for our nation.

Agatha King - September 7, 2015

Sending prayers for peace and comfort to the family of this great Patriot, and a procession of Angels to guide him home!
Proverbs 3:5-6

annette bennett - September 7, 2015

Thank you, John, for all your work to help Heritage. Your efforts enrich us all.

Selina Hall - September 7, 2015

I was so sorry to hear of the passing of such a committed and devoted person to the cause of Freedom and Liberty. My sympathies and prayers to his family.

S. Hall

james Shevlin - September 7, 2015

May Jesus accept him in Heaven.In the
future ,we will all join him.may you have
peace in your heart.

With Love
James and Bernice Shevlin

Tom Bogetich - September 7, 2015

John thank you for all you contributions to the conservative cause. May you rest in peace.

Josephine Thiede - September 7, 2015

A truly great man comes around once in a life time and although I never met him his legacy lives on in his family and friends. May God bless his family and friends at this time and comfort them.

J M Coburn - September 7, 2015

May God bring your family peace.. We know how much he accomplished with Heritage & we are grateful. Our country will miss him. He was badly needed in this time of our country.
Blessings, Tom & Jackie Coburn

Linda L. Lytle - September 7, 2015

Please accept my condolences in the loss of this person you loved so deeply. Though I did not know him personally, I know and highly respect him through all the fruits of his labor and especially his work at The Heritage Foundation. Our country has been blessed by him.

Linda H. - September 7, 2015

I am such a fan of the Heritage Foundation. Gratitude and God’s blessings to John for his amazing contributions. Condolences to his wife and two young sons.
BabyBoomers Rock!

Steve Elliott - September 7, 2015

Thank you John for your dedication to humanity!

Sandra Miller - September 7, 2015

I did not have the good fortune to know
John Von Cannon, but he sounds like a
very necessary individual where Heritage
is concerned. I am so sorry he is no longer
with you though I’m sure his spirit remains.
God bless all of his family and friends at
his passing!

Joe O’Neill - September 7, 2015

I am truly sorry for your loss. I’m also very happy we had such a man to serve our nation as faithfully as he did. What solemn pride must be yours to have been a part of his life, and now his legacy.

edward - September 7, 2015


Joe Murphy - September 7, 2015

I remember John as a clear voice for Heritage. He will be missed. Our prayers for the family.

Jake Saunders - September 7, 2015

My condolences to Mr. Kannon’s family and to his friends at Heritage. I did not know Mr. Kannon, but in reading about him, I see that it would have been an honor to know him.

Sheri Reynard - September 7, 2015

The legacy he left is immeasurable. May he rest in peace.

Stephen M. Bass - September 7, 2015

God speed John. We will do our best to keep your vision alive.

Steve W Cooper - September 7, 2015

John has run his race and run it well. May we all strive to emulate his life, and continue his work. God bless his family in this time of sadness, and may they find comfort in the many friends that will miss John alongside them.

John Clancy - September 7, 2015

I did not know of Von Kannon, nor of all his great work. Yes, based on Jim DeMint’s words he was truly in the ranks of Disraeli, Buckley, Kirk, Thatcher, and Ronald Reagan. His life and work give testimony to the ideas that shape a world in which the human spirit can move freely.
May his life be an inspiration to all of us who want to turn the destruction of our present leader into reconstruction.
Our prayer go for him and his family.
God bless America.

Irmgard Fitzgerald - September 7, 2015

My Condolence to the Family of John Van Kannon. He surely will be missed

Harold Hyatt - September 7, 2015

Rest in peace, dear John. You have earned the gratitude of millions of conservatives like myself for your outstanding contributions to our cause.

Joe Lehman - September 7, 2015

I have seldom met someone so accomplished, generous, and spirited for the cause of liberty, or any other cause for that matter. John taught me how to be better at my work and more than once someone told me he was their “favorite fundraiser.” Who else can claim that?

John’s family, his friends, and the Heritage Foundation have my most sincere sympathy.

Joe Lehman
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, Michigan

Joyce - September 7, 2015

My condolences to the family and friends. May God comfort you and keep you in His arms.

Carol J. Thomas - September 7, 2015

While I did not know John, it is always sad to hear of the loss of a huge supporter of our conservative beliefs. My condolences to His family.

William Grozis - September 7, 2015


Barbara Dragin - September 7, 2015

THANK YOU JOHN……for everything.

Dolores Gallagher - September 7, 2015

Family of John VonKannon:

You and your loved one, John, will be in my prayers. May God have mercy on his

Dolores Gallagher

Richard and Peggy Leach - September 7, 2015

to the Von Kannon family,
Please accept our deepest sympathy for the loss of your husband and father.
What a great and gifted man! We wish we had been able to know him. We need more
men like him!

Madeline Stine - September 7, 2015

His work is done on earth. Perhaps now he can be even more effective on behalf of our great nation in heaven. Our deepest sympathy. Madeline and Steve Stine

Lois and Keith Mitchell - September 7, 2015

John was the person who introduced us to Heritage. He personally greeted us at every Heritage meeting we attended. We had many great conversations with him (and Cindy), and he kept us up to date on Rachel and Jack of whom he was so proud! We have warm memories of discussions on politics, philosophy, and theology. He will be greatly missed at Heritage by colleagues and members alike.

Tom - September 7, 2015

My sincere condolences!

fred grant - September 7, 2015

god bless this man for all he has done

Gary Brown - September 7, 2015

It’s always sad when someone passes into the next life before his time has fully matured in this life. Perhaps enough seeds have been planted to nourish the next crop of minds.

Jim Hussey - September 7, 2015

God bless your family at this time of mourning. John was a great Consertative and patriot

Mary K, DeWitt - September 7, 2015

My prayers and sympathy to his family, and loved ones. I always choose a ‘positive’ position if possible. Therefore I see John’s death as adding one very strong ‘voice’ to that Heavenly Choir to champion and strengthen the effectiveness of our conservative cause where it is so badly needed here on Earth!

russ - September 7, 2015

losing conservatives is like losing our WW2 vets….we cannot afford to

Thomas Littlejohn - September 7, 2015

Although I didn’t know John I truly appreciate his dedication to the conservative cause. My sincere condolences to his wife and children. I know the will miss him tremendously.
May he rest in peace in the arms of God.
Tom Littlejohn

Nancy and Bill Greer - September 7, 2015

WE are so sorry for his loss to his family and our Country.

Barry Kinner - September 7, 2015

My condolences to the family of John Von Cannon and to his family at the Heritage. I’m certain he will be sorely missed.
Barry Kinner

ed rust - September 7, 2015

RIP Mr.Von Kannon. My prayers are with your family.

Joe Spivey - September 7, 2015

My God Bless John for all he has done
and give him peace.

greg roessner - September 7, 2015

Our heartfelt condolences on the loss of a true American patriot who will on in our hears forever.God bless you all.

Herb Asbury - September 7, 2015

Thank you John for leaving us the solid foundation of our conservative future!

Carl Bruce Morin - September 7, 2015

Mr. Von Kannon,
I didn’t know you, .. but ..

Knows you .

Don & Doris Loeffler - September 7, 2015

It is a sad day in America, when we lose a great man like John Von Kannon.

Our condolences to not only his family, but this Nation.

Don and Doris Loeffler

Wayne weaver - September 7, 2015

May GOD bless your family with his grace and mercy during this time of sadness.

Gaston Llaca - September 7, 2015

May God have mercy on John. I pray for Cindy, Rachel and Jack.

Paula Burkett - September 7, 2015

Though I did not know him personally, our family appreciates all he has done for the cause of freedom.

Harold wake - September 7, 2015

We need more men like him.

Audrey Moore - September 7, 2015

Condolences to all of John’s family as well as Peace from one conservative to another.

Isaac Ocansey - September 7, 2015

They say I am sorry for your loss. They say your heart will mend. They say you’re in a better place, and death is not the end. They say you are reunited with love ones gone before. They say that you’ll be waiting when I walk through havens door. I feel their love in every word of comfort they impact, and know that each is spoken from deep within the heart. But all the words of comfort though kind, sincere, and truely can’t take away the emptiness I’m feeling without you.

David Brown - September 7, 2015

An honor and privilege to know and work with him for many years.

Larry Reda - September 7, 2015

I did not know him But anyone that would do as much as he did for mankind deserves a spot in my prayers . God bless his family

Janis E Bland - September 7, 2015

So sorry for your loss, my deepest condolences. Anyone who worked for the Heritage Foundation for so many years had a deep love and concern for our country. Your strength comes from the Lord. Bless you all. Sincerely, Janis Bland

Carole Heikkinen - September 7, 2015

Great contribution and beautiful legacy. Thank you!

Bonnie Thomas - September 7, 2015

I did not know the gentleman,but it sounds
as if he was a God send to the Heritage
Sounds like a great lose for the family and
The Foundation.
My condolences to the family.

Bonnie Thomas

Larry Miller - September 7, 2015

My condolences to John’s family & friends.

Walter Lahmann - September 7, 2015

Please, dear Lord, welcome John Von Kannen into paradise where he will be with our founding fathers and all the other great patriots who have gone before him. May God Bless his soul.

Chleo Brown - September 7, 2015

I am sorry to Hear of John Von kannon’s passing -from this life —we need great men like Him to lead in making this nation a great nation that it once was –my condolences To His family and heritage foundation

Virginia T. Osgood - September 7, 2015

John will be in my prayers. We are grateful for his example.

Elizabeth Andrews - September 7, 2015

I have a lump in my throat just reading Jim DeMint’s beautiful email. I didn’t know John but am greatly moved by his patriotism and character as described, and must add: Well done, thou good and faithful servant…the Lord is well pleased.

mildred roy - September 7, 2015

My love and prayers are with all of his family. He was a true gentleman and he will be missed by so many. Rest In Peace!

Larry and Christine Wortzel - September 7, 2015

Our deepest condolences to Cindy and the family. John was a super guy, a stalwart conservative, and a great source of counsel.

Larry and Tina

Laurence & Paula DeMuth - September 7, 2015

Although we did not know John Von Kannon personally, we know of his great work and many accomplishments. Blessings to his wife, Cindy, and his two children. May God be with them in this time of sorrow. Paula and Larry

Larry and Christine Wortzel - September 7, 2015

John was a great friend and mentor. Our deepest condolences,

Larry and Tina

Bonita K - September 7, 2015

Cindy & children;
Please accept my condolences upon the loss of your husband & father. Reading his memorial, it struck me that he certainly led an honorable life of which you should be proud. Hold your memories close to your heart, for they, with God’s help, will sustain you.
In sympathy,

Ingrid Dohler - September 7, 2015

I never knew or met Mr. Von Kannon.
May God bless and be with his family and everyone, who loved him and now misses him.

Charles Wallace - September 7, 2015

It is a sad day to lose a conservative hero like him. We need every one of them to change the crooked Government we have right now. But he is in a better place right now< God Bless his family.

Lorraine Mix - September 7, 2015

My sympathy to Cindy and family. I am thankful for your husband’s dedication in helping keep America on the correct track.

May the Lord grant you grace and strength in your present days and bless you abundantly.

Creshull Harrison - September 7, 2015

My condolences for a great conservative
Who worked so hard for the Coservative
Cause these many years at Heritage.
I offer my gratitude.
May God continue to Bless this great Country!!!

Steve Challis - September 7, 2015

Sorry to hear the sad news ,my condolences tomthe family at this sad time.

Tom Hauck - September 7, 2015

RIP and God Bless fellow Patriot. Rest easy.

Paul Everett - September 7, 2015

Hero’s are those who put others before themslves. May God’s comfort be felt by the family.

Stan Lane - September 7, 2015

Thank you Mr. Kannon for your stand for the United States. May others follow in your foot steps. Lord bless his family, Jesus’ name.

NS - September 7, 2015

Keeping you all in prayer, thankful for all the good work.

Joyce Hall - September 7, 2015

My sincere condolences to Mr.Von Kannon’s family and friends and to you Mr. DeMint. May the peace of our Lord, Jesus Christ be with all of you.

Joan Neel - September 7, 2015

My sympathy to this family and pray God’s blessings on them.

Yasmin Sferrella - September 7, 2015

Our deepest sympathy. –The Sferrella Family

John - September 7, 2015

My sincere condolences to the Family of John Von Kannon.

Darlene Wellinghoff - September 7, 2015

So sorry Heritage has lost such a valuable man. I will be thinking of your family. May God grant you peace and the knowledge of a person who lived life well

Mary Magee - September 7, 2015

Sorry for your loss

Janet - September 7, 2015

I am so very sorry for your loss, but so very grateful that a man of John’s intelligence, commitment, and courage to do the right walked this earth to make it a better place for us all.

With love and God’s blessings to all his family and friends, Janet

John Cardwell - September 7, 2015

Godspeed – we strive on in support of our shared beliefs.

Gary Williams - September 7, 2015

My thoughts and prayers are with the family of John as they put him to rest in the arms of God. We can’t afford to lose stalwarts of the conservative movement and John sure was one.

Bill Thomasson & Family - September 7, 2015

My family extends our condolences. God bless you and the family. There will better days ahead.

Sherri Gustine - September 7, 2015

John gave a life of selfless service to others and I want to express my appreciation and condolences to his precious family.

May God comfort your hearts and give you peace.

Robin Swaim - September 7, 2015

My condolences to you and your children for the loss of your husband. I want to thank you for the work he did for liberty. May God comfort you in your time of sorrow

Ray Brassard - September 7, 2015

Although I did not know john personally I am honored to be part the organization he was so dedicated to.
My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and love ones.

Ray Brassard.

Mrs. Margaret Robertson - September 7, 2015

Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this very difficult time.

Betsy Gjertsen - September 7, 2015

Having recently lost my husband, the love of my life, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Take your time and grieve your loss by remembering the special and ordinary days that you had together. I know that it will not be easy but by God’s grace you will be able to adapt to the “new normal” in you life. I am here for you if needed.
Your new friend,

Dolores Madlener - September 7, 2015

To John’s wife and children, as well as his Heritage Foundation “family” — heartfelt condolences. To know America still grows such giants is comforting. To mark their going from us — a deep sadness — but an abundance of gratitude.

Dolores Madlener - September 7, 2015

To John’s wife and children, as well as his Heritage Foundation “family” — heartfelt condolences. To know America still grows such giants is comforting. To mark their going from us — a deep sadness — but an abundance of gratitude.

Laura A Haynes, Ph.D. - September 7, 2015

Dear Cindy and Family,
My prayers are with you. You must have made many sacrifices for John to accomplish so much. Thank you!

Sue Burbach - September 7, 2015

Just wanted you all — and the family of the Gentleman that we are so sorry to hear of his death and will be praying for the family.

James P Smith, Sr - September 7, 2015

May his soul rest in Peace.

Holly D. Erickson - September 7, 2015

Our Heavenly Father will give you peace. Jesus will wrap His mighty arms of love around you. And Holy Spirit will comfort you as only He can. Our prayers are with you all.

werner keil - September 7, 2015

May the good Lord take a liking to him .condolences to his family.

Dennis Crouch - September 7, 2015

As a member of the Heritage Foundation and strong supporter, I was never fortunate enough to meet Mr. John Von Konnon. He has done much to make the Heritage Foundation such an important organization and I cannot thank him enough for what he’s done. My sympathy to the family of of Von Konnon’s and may the Lord provide courage and comfort in this time of grief.

Ben - September 7, 2015

Keep your eyes on Jesus. H will comfort your hearts. You are in my prayers.

Margaret Ramsey - September 7, 2015

To say a word of thanks for The Gift of John dedication to Heritage and To share my sympathy at this special transition of John’s life.

Margaret P Ramsey

Bill Amos - September 7, 2015

I don’t think that I ever attended a Heritage event without John finding me for some friendly conversation. A great man who will be missed!

A. J. Pantel - September 7, 2015

My heartfelt sympathy goes out to Mr.VonKannon’s wife,children and extended family.
You all can be extremely proud of John for his lifelong passionate work to make the Heritage Foundation the most widely known and respected voice working to keep the Founding Father’s American values alive . In today’s world this is a monumental task.
Stay strong and forever be proud. May G-d be wit h you all.

David Berkey - September 7, 2015

In the beginning we knew him simply as “the Baron”. Baron von Kannon will be greatly missed. How I cherished those early YAF days with him. Thank you John for all your inspiration during those trying years long ago.

Joyce Kirkpatrick - September 7, 2015

My heartfelt condolences to John Von Kannon family, his contribution toward conservative principles through Heritage has greatly influenced and benefited all of the conservative values on which our great nation was founded.

Jean Fries - September 7, 2015

God always raises up a voice for what is right when the world needs it. Thank you God for giving us this voice for righteousness who wasn’t afraid to speak to or to be heard by the enemies of freedom.

Mr. & Mrs Denzil R. Hibbs - September 7, 2015

Mrs. Cindy Hunter, we are deeply saddened by your loss.
No matter what happens, God will hold you
close and see you through.

Kathleen Hill - September 8, 2015

We are saddened by your loss.
John Von Kannon obviously accomplished more in his life than most and will be greatly missed. However, Mr. Von Kannon influenced countless others with his ideals and for that we are grateful.

James Janisse - September 8, 2015

I learned a great deal form John and will miss his sage counsel and enormous wit. May he rest in peace. Gone but not forgotten.

Barbara D - September 8, 2015

May the Lord surround all of you during this time of loss for John’s family, Heritage and all those John fought for yesterday, today and tomorrow. His legacy will live on.

DEE SERRITELLA - September 8, 2015

May the Lord keep you in the palm of his hand, but not squeeze you too hard.
RIP //////

Ivan and Lil Schwenn - September 8, 2015

Our sincere sympathy goes to the John Von Kannon family. Praying God’s Love and Comfort be with each member of the family. And may God ‘s Presence be ever close to each of you.
In Christ’s Service,
Rev. and Mrs. Ivan/Lil Schwenn

LARRY BALENSIEFER - September 8, 2015


Nan Marcotte - September 8, 2015

I did not know your John personally, but I am grateful for his compassionate commitment to the Heritage Foundation and I thank you for the many hours he gave for all of us, whom he did not know, but who have benefited from his love of our great country. His spirit will live on but his presence will be missed.

Jeffrey L. Hoffman - September 8, 2015

My deepest and heartfelt condolences go out to John’s family and friends. Although I never had a chance to meet such a fine Man and dedicated Patriot. I feel a deep connection. I truly believe in my Heart that those who understand the profound importance of Defending The American Way of Life, and Protecting the Heritage of this Great Nation know all to well that all the Liberties and Freedoms “WE THE PEOPLE” have are a Precious Gift from GOD Himself. And those who understand this belong to a fraternity which I would like to refer to as the American Spirit. Understanding that it is GOD, Country, and Family which is to be held in the Highest Regards at All Times. So I Thank You John for your Life’s Dedication and Selflessness too This Great Nation and “WE THE PEOPLE” for Generations to come. But The Good Lord has Called You Home. John you Served HIM well. GOD Bless an know that you Inspired many Sir.

david karibo - September 8, 2015

Huge impressive life! John and family in my prayer life for 30 rosaries!,and more

Steve Marcus - September 8, 2015

John is continuing his good work from another place, and we will feel his presence and benefit from his progress as we, too, progress. Love and blessings to him, his family, and his friends.

Gordon Grohman - September 8, 2015

John was a valued member of the Heritage Foundation. Thanks to John and all his associates for the devout work they perform each day to save and further develop the safety of our heritage…..Freedom!!

William Cagney - September 8, 2015

I never met John Von Kannon, it sounds like that was my loss. It also appears John left a legacy that will be remember long after he has left this world.

My Condolances to all his friends & family and to all those who will miss his stead fast conservitive principles that he live by and died for.

Joan Hensgens - September 8, 2015

Thank you for fighting the good fight and running the race John. Prayers going out to all of you!

Shirley McFarland - September 8, 2015

May the blessings of the Lord overtake you and your family.

June Wilson - September 8, 2015

I didn’t know Mr. John Von Kannon but I thank him for all of his efforts in making America a better place. May God bless him and may he rest in peace!

Jeffrey Dolbow - September 8, 2015

I knew John well in high school, back in Lafayette, Indiana. He was always interested in politics, even at a young age. I kind of lost track of him through the years, but was not surprised at all when I was investigating The Heritage Foundation and saw that he was an integral part of it. Cindy and the kids, I am truly sorry for your loss.

Bonnie Sargeant - September 8, 2015

Thank you John Von Kannon for your dedication, love, and leadership for conservatives ideas.
America benefitted in ways that will last forever and ways we have yet to know.

Jim Meyer - September 8, 2015

We will all sorely miss the Baron and his sense of humor. However, the rock solid foundation he has built for the conservative movement will be there for our use and benefit many years into the future. While movement prospers and grows we can all be thankful that the Chief Kapellmeister showed us how build.

Jacki Bourdeau - September 8, 2015

My condolences go to the family and colleagues of John Van Kannon. I have deep appreciation for the work that your husband, father, and friend has done to try to restore right thinking in our country. May God bless his efforts and may we all live to see them bear much good fruit.

Barb Kaper - September 8, 2015

I’m trusting God to comfort you, Cindy and family with His Peace and Presence.

Sharon Minton - September 8, 2015

Sweet sorrow to know one who fought valiantly for America has departed to his Reward for a job well done. May his family be comforted by his many achievements, and most of all, by Jesus, The Comforter.

Scott - September 8, 2015

Words, however kind, can’t mend your heartache, but those who care and, share your loss wish you, comfort and peace of mind. May God give you and your family strength through this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Mary Wyatt - September 8, 2015

Thank you sir for all you have accomplished for all of us. You are in a place where you will continue to look over us. God Bless. Rest in Peace now.

Benjamin Piombino - September 8, 2015

My heartfellt condolences go out to john’s wife and family. All of you can be proud for his promotion and support of the conservative ideas this country was founded on. Gob bless all of you!

Nancy Melendez - September 8, 2015

Apparently God needed him more than we did on Earth. My deepest condolences to his wife Cindy and their children. May God grant the family comfort in this time of need.

Herbert Branch - September 8, 2015

I am sorry for the loss of this fine gentleman to the cause of sustaining our unique American heritage of liberty and freedom under God. Though I had never met Mr. Von Kannon in person, I am most grateful for the results of all his dilligent efforts on behalf of our great cause.
To John’s family I say that men such as John are those who love God and country and family, and are on the right side of history and truth. May God, our Hope and Comforter, comfort you in this time of your loss. As one who knows beyond a shaddow of doubt that God and Heaven are real, be comforted that that reality is the greatest Paradise we can ever experience (as Kevin Burpo of “Heaven is Real”) got a glimpse of in his experience. Take heart about John’s “return to the Father of Lights.”

Amber Schwartz - September 8, 2015

May he rest in peace.

Lou Cordia - September 8, 2015

Heritage would not be the biggest and best think tank in the country without John’s working side-by-side with Feulner and Truluck; and John’s twisted sense of humor made working there most enjoyable.

My prayers go out to John’s family.

Carol A. Manning - September 8, 2015

God Bless Mr. Von Kannon. The Heritage Foundation and Heritage Action for America has mean so much to me. It has given me hope that the future of the greatest Country on earth has a chance to survive and thrive. Thanks to your husband for being such an important part of these organizations. I’m certain he is watching us all and imploring God to continue to bless the work we do.

Virginia Blackburn - September 8, 2015

I am praying for comfort and strength for the family. Praise the Lord, John will enter Heaven in triumph that he has been a good and faithful servant.

Tracie Harpster - September 8, 2015

My thoughts and my prayers are with John’s family and friends. John’s leaves behind a legacy that will inspire many more to accomplish great things. His greatest legacy is the number lives he touched and the friends he leaves behind. May God bless you and be your comfort in your time of sorrow.

Thomas H. Seigo - September 8, 2015

My prayers for healing to the family and my sincere sympathy for your deep loss!

Jess Dixon - September 8, 2015

There Is No Death
There is no death. Not lasting death
Like all the temporal things we touch and see.
Not like the monuments of stone and steel
With which we link the thought that: “It shall ever be!”
Nor with the projections of our thoughts
Of things that we assume last on into the darkened depths
Of fathomless Eternity.

No. . .
We are taught to thus see death (and falsely so,) as we view life,
Always from the vantage point of youth…
As reaching forward, always in laughter and in sunlight
With total satisfaction our never-ending emotion.

But. . . such is not reality.
For all too soon we find that life proves cruel
And taunting in its tangled web of never ending curves
Thrown before us without the slightest warning;
Nor with wisdom; To help us chart the way.

Death . . .
This lasting death with which we so identify;
“Where have you gone?”
For at the moment you first appear . . .You thus escape our gaze and disappear
As quickly and silently as vapor in the wind.
How can this be?
“You did come . . . Did you not?”
The soul inquires.
But nay . . .
It is a fantasy of rationality.

For there is another dimension unknown to man.
The existence of which has always been.
For that which man declares impossible to know . . .
Does not make it so . . on the plane of God’s Reality.

There is no death.
Only man’s misguided fantasy.
There only remains a mystic door
Through which we pass.
The only pain . . .
Is from the unexpected and unfinished;
For it is to these realities that we tie our love
And dreams; . . . And thus,
We dread the parting.

But death remains a door . . .
No more,
No less.
A door within a garden wall, as hath the poet spoken.
And passing through this door . . .
It is not what is left that counts upon the scales of time and space;
But that dimension . . .
Which beckons from the Realm of Light.

A Light . . .
The Source of which has never known
And Who’s existence thus we doubted
Because . . .
We knew not how to focus on
Until . . .
In laying down our robe,
We stepped beyond;
To reach
And grasp
The Ultimate Reality
Of our Eternal Being.

Given thru Inspiration to Jess Dixon

“Death is not extinguishing the light. It is putting out the lamp because dawn has come.”
~ ~ Sir Rabindranath Tagore

George Blumel - September 8, 2015

Jim Frevert introduced us to The Baron many years ago and he became our most consistent source of all things Heritage with a blend of seriousness and humor when appropriate. Requiescat in pace.

Oneta Kuecher - September 8, 2015

Cindy, you and your family are in my prayers. Matthew 5:3 & 4

Dave & Sunny Rempe - September 8, 2015

Thank you John for your service and foresight for our country.
Our condolences to Cindy and family.
May God help you thru this time of grief and sorrow. The saying is,” YOU never get over it, but you will get thru it”!!!
God Bless you all,
Sunny &David Rempe
Westerville, Ohio 43081

skye alison - September 8, 2015

Thank you. And may the comfort and encouragement of the Spirit be yours in these days!

Patty Vogel - September 9, 2015

Thank you for your dedication to preserving our freedom and American heritage. We can only imagine the countless hours you toiled on our behalf. May your service inspire thousands of other patriots to rise up and carry on with this great work.

John Stong - September 9, 2015

May God’s unseen hand hold you and comfort you.

Michael Scott - September 9, 2015

My prayers are with his family. I did not know him personally, but he expressed noble statements that all should follow in their lifetime.

Susan Filak - September 9, 2015

To John Von Kannon’s wife Cindy, his Children, his Family, all his Friends, and Jim DeMint – I’m very sorry for your loss.
I didn’t know John, but I think I will miss him being in the world and at Heritage.
He sounds like he was a very wonderful soul! May he Rest in Peace.

Robert W Hamilton Jr - September 9, 2015

Our sincerest condolences to the Von Kannon family.
Mr. & Mrs. R. W. Hamilton & Family

Tania Moreno - September 10, 2015

I am truly sorry about the sad news!
Even though I did not know Mr. Von Kannon personally, he has my admiration and respect for the work he did for The Heritage Foundation and the conservative movement.
May his soul rest in peace!
My heart felt condolences to the family.
Tania Moreno, Rockville, MD

Ernest Hayes - September 10, 2015

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and death shall be no more, nor mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow shall be any more, for the former things are passed away.” -Revelations 21:4

Fred - September 11, 2015

Sorry for your loss….and ours too.

Jean Gutierrez - September 11, 2015

Any time we lose a good conservative patriot with family values and the fire within to work for our country’s best interests it is very disheartening. I didn’t know him personally but I believe in what he stood for. As a widow of 12 years my heart goes out to his wife. Stay strong and be proud of his good works

Betsy Gjertsen - September 12, 2015

I am very sorry to hear of the loss of your husband and father of your children. Having lost my husband, the love of my life, in March of this year, I have sincere empathy for you. However, by the grace of God along with your family and friends you will adjust over time. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Psalms 23 provides much comfort and I encourage to read that passage daily for a few weeks until your grief begins to heal.

Marie Kelley - September 13, 2015

I am grateful for all the work you accomplished for our Country. May you rest in peace Mr. John Von Kannon.

Aaron Buchhop - September 14, 2015

While at Heritage in the fall of 2010, I worked under JVK as an intern in the development department. As interns in the Young Leaders Program, we were given the opportunity to request a mentor from the staff. I requested JVK as my number one choice, even though we were told that senior staff was less likely to give us face time due to the demands of their jobs. Through a quirk of fate, JVK became my mentor — a mentor who frequently went out of his way to meet with me and impart to me his vast knowledge of fundraising, marketing, and the conservative movement. I didn’t deserve to have him as a mentor, but I was privileged to work under him and to be advised by him. Today, I am still in fundraising and the conservative movement because of JVK. I will never forget him, and I pray for his family at this time.

Barb Kenney - September 15, 2015

Your work might be done here on earth John, but your life and how you lead it will be remembered forever. You will be missed, but never forgotten. Blessings to Cindy and your children as well as the Heritage foundation you so proudly served.

Mayfair Coover - September 24, 2015

What a great man, and what a loss to our nation.
My condolences to his family.

Margo (Doyne) Saunders - August 20, 2017

As I have been living in Australia and am very much out of the loop, I have just learned of John’s untimely passing. Fond memories of crazy times at The Establishment in Bloomington, the ‘breakfast club’ (which met at lunchtime), and of the early days of The Spectator crew. Sincere sympathies to John’s family.

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