With a series of photographs showing the life of Marion Gordon “Pat” Robertson, the Christian Broadcasting Network, which he founded, announced his death on Thursday at the age of 93.
He had started out with a local Virginia station back in the day, and finished with the global CBN.
He was known for his “700 Club” television show, and had helped move faith to a higher priority in the Republican Party.
Fox News reported the cause of death was not revealed.
He was a candidate for president in 1988, seeking the GOP nomination, and was second in the early caucuses in Iowa, ahead of then-Vice President George H.W. Bush.
His strategy at that time was to court Iowa’s evangelical churches, Fox said. Pursuit of those church faithful now is a standard operating procedure for GOP candidates.
He asked his millions of followers to sign petitions for his candidacy, a move that also generated a significant base.
His work at Regent University, the American Center for Law and Justice and Operation Blessing also was widely recognized.
Eventually, in the 1988 race, he endorsed Bush, who had served as VP under President Ronald Reagan.
The Christian Broadcasting Network went on the air in October 1961 as a tax-exempt religious nonprofit organization.
WND reported his wife of nearly 70 years, Adelia “Dede” Robertson, died just months ago.
They were married in 1954.
They are survived by four children — Timothy Robertson, Elizabeth Robinson, Gordon Robertson and Ann LeBlanc — 14 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.
Pat Robertson, several years ago, stepped down from his role as daily host of his television show.
He announced on the 60th anniversary of CBN’s first broadcast that he was moving on to new projects.
He founded Regent University in 1977, which posted an announcement it was mourning the loss.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our beloved founder,” said Regent University Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, William L. Hathaway. “Dr. Robertson was a globally-renowned leader, broadcaster, philanthropist, educator, author, accomplished businessman, and – most importantly – a faithful servant of God who dedicated his life to glorifying the Lord and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
The university’s profile noted, “Robertson was born on March 22, 1930, to the late Gladys Churchill Robertson and the late Senator A. Willis Robertson, who spent a half-century serving his country, first as an Army Officer in World War I, and later spending four decades representing Virginians as an elected congressman and senator.”
Robertson took degrees from Washington and Lee University, Yale, and New York Theological Seminary.
“One man’s tenacious obedience to a call from God has the opportunity to change the lives of millions around the world,” said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice. “Dr. Robertson was a prime example of Christian leadership to change the world.”
Robertson served as past president of the Council on National Policy and he was on Reagan’s Task Force on Victims of Crime.
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“Dr. Robertson was a titan of the Christian faith and he will be dearly missed by millions around the world,” said General John Ashcroft, 79th U.S. attorney general and distinguished professor at Regent. “His legacy is a life well-lived in loving and faithful obedience to Jesus Christ and His glorious gospel.”
A few of honors from his long list of accolades:
- Humanitarian of the Year, 1982, by Food for the Hungry
- Man of the Year, 1988, by Students for America
- Christian Broadcaster of the Year, 1989, by National Religious Broadcasters
- One of America’s 100 Cultural Elite, 1992, Newsweek Magazine
- Defender of Israel Award, 1994, by the Christians’ Israel Public Action Campaign
- Cross of Nails Award, 2000, for his vision, inspiration and humanitarian work with The Flying Hospital
- The State of Israel Friendship Award, 2002, by the Chicago chapter of the Zionist Organization of America
- New York Theological Seminary Distinction in Ministry Award, 2009
- Induction to the Hampton Roads Business Hall of Fame, 2009
- Winston Churchill Lifetime Achievement Award, 2013, by Faith & Freedom Coalition
- Lifetime Achievement Award – 25th Silver Anniversary Movieguide Awards, 2017
- Legend Award at 49th Annual ICVM Crown Awards Ceremony, 2022
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