Family members say Robert Schindler, the father of late Terri Schindler Schiavo, has died. He was 71.

Schindler became a national figure in a fight to keep his brain injured daughter alive despite her husband's wishes to remove her feeding tube.

Bobby Schindler said his father died from heart failure Saturday at a hospital in St. Petersburg.

Robert Schindler and other family members founded the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation after her death in 2005 when her feeding tube was removed.

Congress passed a bill that allowed a federal court to intervene and keep the feeding tube, but the Supreme Court sided with Schiavo's husband.

Schiavo was diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state after her heart stopped in 1990.