William Armstrong, former U.S. senator, Colorado university president, dies

William Armstrong, the Colorado media executive who became a major conservative voice in the U.S. Senate during the Reagan administration, has died. He was he was 79.

Colorado Christian University, where he served as president, says Armstrong died Tuesday after a five-year battle with cancer.

"Bill Armstrong lived a life of servant leadership, and stressed the importance of Christians being involved in public service in all walks of life," U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) said in a statement. "In all things, he led by example."

Armstrong spent much of his congressional career focusing on economic issues. He sponsored the amendment to the 1981 tax bill that indexed federal income tax brackets to compensate for inflation.

He also played a major role in the fight in the early 1980s over putting Social Security on a sound financial footing. Armstrong fought, and lost, for his proposal to raise the retirement age for Social Security recipients.

Before diving into politics, Armstrong became a millionaire in media, owning radio and television stations and a newspaper in Colorado Springs.

"Our nation lost a great public servant, whose mark on Colorado and this country embodies the virtues of liberty, faith, and family," US. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colorado) said in a statement. "His booming voice, piercing gaze, and love of fellow patriots will never be forgotten."