David A. Norris, Founder and CEO

Heartland Foundation, Inc.

David Norris

After serving in the military, my wife and I moved to Ames, Iowa to attend Iowa State University. When attending our first basketball game at Iowa State, the Iowa Governor, Norman Erbe, was introduced. He was resoundingly booed by the students. That disrespect was a shocker to us. He had come under criticism for opposing liquor-by-the-drink legislation. It did not take me long as a student to realize that a few professors were feeding the frenzy.

That spurred my focus upon the principles that lead to quality decisions. The advocates of foolish behavior promote the rejection of God. The truth is, those who follow that line of rejection can end up being controlled by addictive practices which are very harmful. Turning to the respectful teachings of Christianity, instead of being under control, believers learn self-control. Instead of being slaves to devastating appetites, believers are under God's protection and can experience true happiness. Rooted in American traditions, this approach to community and public policy provides a unified view of truth that continues to attract immigrants from around the world.

Of all the concerns that deserve attention, the Heartland team's focus is upon the greatest danger, by far, to America. That danger comes from the takeover of education in the history, behavioral, social studies and religious atmosphere by a small atheistic sect of secular exclusivists. It is about denigrating traditional American values and promoting devastating life practices for unsuspecting student victims. This is evident by the alarming proportion of American youth and middle-aged in our hospitals, prisons and morgues.

A person's religious belief and attitudes about education and government are inseparable. All patriotic Americans, including the majority of teachers, reject atheistic secular exclusivity. Diversity is the center stage of what we as an immigrant nation are all about. We chose the impartial God-honoring Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights, added later to the Constitution, as the design, and the Constitution is the tool for implementing that design. Previously untried on a national scale, America became the envy of the world. The idea of man under the non-sectarian God of creation over government reversed centuries of human deprivation at the hands of pretender-gods, authoritarian academians, politicos, clergy, whomever.

Scripture says: "Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, [and] there is nothing too hard for thee" (Old Testament Jeremiah 32:17).

In his July 4, 1821, oration as Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams (soon to become President) captured the foundation for American law: "It was the first solemn Declaration by a nation of the only legitimate foundation of civil government. It was the corner stone of a new fabric, destined to cover the surface of the globe. It demolished at a stroke the lawfulness of all governments founded upon conquest. It swept away all the rubbish of accumulated centuries of servitude. It announced to the world the transcendent truth of the sovereignty of the people. It proved that the social compact was no figment of the imagination; but a real, solid, and sacred bond of the social union."

Although American foundations are being put to the ultimate test, there is reason for optimism. In 1776, America was burdened by the invasion of British troops, the internal injustice of slavery, and women had not been granted their right to vote. In spite of all this, by the power of God's grace, Americans forged ahead. The war for independence was won, slavery was overcome and women could vote.


David Norris and his wife, Carlene, have resided in Ames, Iowa since March 1954.

He received a bachelor's degree from Iowa State University, with a major in agronomy, electives in law and finance, and was a scholastic Alpha Zeta honoree.

His speaking and crisis management activities have taken him throughout the nation. David Norris is the recipient of the 2004 Man of the Year Award from the Women for Constitutional Government.

In 1968, he chaired a Grand Jury Study and Presentment on Problems in Higher Education (11th Judicial District of Iowa) which dominated the news briefly in 1968-69. Proven to be remarkably accurate and even more important today, that study is "The Citizens' Report" chapter in the Lasting Success book, and "Appendix A" in the Restoring Education Central to American Greatness book.

David Norris also headed up the Iowa school board elections study done in conjunction with the county elections commissioners for the Iowa legislature in 1981.

Norris retired from a business career in 1982. He served as president of the Ames Board of Realtors and chaired several local and state business and Christian organizations.

The publisher, iUniverse, describes Norris, author of the book, Restoring Education Central to American Greatness, as a "self-taught historian," he "details America's higher authority philosophy and key decisions made by the country's Founding Fathers."

"Restoring Education Central to American Greatness is undoubtedly one of the best books ever written on the subject," James C. Magee, Ph.D., biological science, and his wife, Lois, M.Ed., a public school teacher for thirty years.

"The Norris book should be required reading in every college-level political science class," John Stormer, pastor, educator, author, served as chaplain for the Missouri state legislature for thirty-one years.

David's wife helped in writing the "Who's Who in the Home" and "Parent/Child Relationships" chapters in the Lasting Success book. They have three grown daughters with husbands and children.