By Lars Dalseide | October 4 2011 19:23

Past NRA President Charlton Heston Fairfax, Virginia - 88 years ago today, John Charles Carter was born. Known to the world as Charlton Heston, his work in the film industry, on the stage and in the political field would make an impression on millions across the world.

Here at the National Rifle Association, Mr. Heston served as President of the organization from 1998 to 2003. But his work here at the NRA was just a part of what made the man. Unknown to many, Mr. Heston was one of the first Hollywood stars to march along side Dr. Martin Luther King. He was also a radio operator and aerial gunner aboard a B-25 Mitchell during World War II. But most will remember him for his roles.

Headlining classics such as Ben-Hur, The Ten Commandments and Planet of the Apes — three of the more a hundred parts he played — it was the role of Will Penny that he often Charlton Heston's Will Penny saddle referred to as his favorite. The story of an aging cowboy who falls for a stranded woman and her son. Coincidentally enough, there's a statue of Mr. Heston as Will Penny along with a miniature of a saddle and gun in the National Firearms Museum.

Mr. Heston past away in April of 2008. Though he is gone, he will always be a part of the National Rifle Association. Especially — and fittingly — inside the National Firearms Museum, where a speech to the Washington Press Club inspired the final exhibit. A lasting tribute to Mr. Heston, known as Freedom's Doorway, will forever mark the memories of all who come to experience the history and tradition here at the headquarters of the National Rifle Association.

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