This is like when Osama Bin Laden Died: lots of cheering.
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Fred Phelps Sr., a fire-and-brimstone preacher whose anti-gay picketing at military funerals inflamed the nation and drew international scorn but was protected by the U.S. Supreme Court as an exercise in free speech, died March 19 at a hospice in Topeka, Kan. He was 84.

His daughter Shirley Phelps-Roper confirmed his death to the Topeka Capital-Journal. The cause was not reported.

Rev. Phelps was an ordained Baptist minister, a disbarred Kansas lawyer and, according to a BBC documentary, the patriarch of the “most hated family in America.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a prominent civil rights group, described his Westboro congregation as a “family-based cult” and “arguably the most obnoxious and rabid hate group in America.”

The expression of Rev. Phelps’s bigotry managed to offend the conscience of the Ku Klux Klan, which staged protests to counter Westboro’s demonstrations at military funerals.

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