Conservative Senator Jesse Helms from North Carolina passed away at 1:15 am in Raleigh NC today at age 86 according to the Jesse Helms Research Center.
No details surrounding his death have been released. The Senator announced in 2001 that he would not seek a sixth term in 2002 [Watch the Daily Show's coverage of Helms' announcement].
As a tribute, here is a Moment of Zen from 2001 featuring the late Senator Helms.
UPDATE: The New York Times reports that the Senator died of "natural causes" and was "very comfortable."
Tags: Jesse Helms, Jon Stewart, North Carolina, The Daily Show