November 15, 2007
WASHINGTON, NOV. 12, 2007 -Former Rep. Ben Blackburn of Jasper was honored Monday with the unveiling of an official portrait at The Heritage Foundation, where Blackburn once served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
The oil portrait, painted by Viatcheslav Likhatchev, is one of three paintings honoring current and past chairmen of Heritage's board of trustees. Heritage President Ed Feulner formally presented the art work during the think tank's annual President's Club meeting in Washington, D.C.
Blackburn, 80, represented Georgia's 4th District from 1966 to 1972, serving on the House Committee on Banking and Currency and the Joint Economic Committee. From 1974 to 1982, Blackburn served as Chairman of Heritage's Board of Trustees, helping to guide the think tank as it grew from a small conservative policy shop to an influential source of ideas and direction for the Reagan administration.
After stepping down as Chairman, he continued to serve on the Heritage board until 1984. He then served at the Transportation Department as a southeastern regional representative from 1985 to 1989. He retired in 1990.
Before entering the world of politics and policy, Blackburn practiced law and served for two years on the staff of the Georgia attorney general. He was a naval officer in World War II and the Korean War, retiring with the rank of lieutenant commander in the Navy Reserve.
He lives near Jasper with his wife, Mary. They have four grown children, eight grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
With 312,000 individual, foundation and corporate supporters, The Heritage Foundation is the most broadly supported public policy research institute in the country. The 34-year-old institution has a staff of more than 200 and an annual budget of $40 million.