Pat Robertson

Evangelist / TV Personality
Date Of Birth:
22 March 1930
Date Of Death:
8 June 2023
Place Of Birth:
Lexington, Virginia
Best Known As:
Host of the Christian TV program The 700 Club

Name at birth: Marion Gordon Robertson

Pat Robertson was the founder, chairman and prominent public face of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN). One of America's leading televangelists, he also became a leading figure in American politics. As host of the CBN's long-running religious magazine show The 700 Club, he was an outspoken proponent of conservative politics and evangelical Christianity in America. Pat Robertson graduated from Washington and Lee University in 1950. He served in the Marines during the Korean War, then earned a law degree from Yale (1955) and a masters degree from the New York Theological Seminary (1959). In 1960 he bought a defunct UHF television station in Portsmouth, Virginia, and the next year CBN went on the air. With the boom in cable television during the early 1980s, Robertson (like his colleague Jerry Falwell) gained a national and then international platform for his Christian proselytizing and unabashedly conservative activism. He ran for the Republican nomination for U.S. president in 1988 (a race eventually won by George Bush the elder) and the next year founded the Christian Coalition, a political organization widely credited with increasing the power of conservative Christians in American politics. Robertson was often criticized for outlandish off-the-cuff statements, including his 2005 suggestion that the United States should assassinate President Hugh Chavez of Venezuela. Among other comments, he suggested that the massive damage done by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was God's punishment for legal abortion. Still, most of his criticism was reserved for liberals in America who advocated for equal treatment under the law and the Constitutional separation of church and state. After his death in 2023, The Washington Post called him "among the first evangelists to take religion out of the realm of private belief and into the secular arena of politics."
Extra Credit

Pat Robertson’s father, Absalom Willis Robertson, was a Democratic congressman (1933-46) and senator (1946-66) from Virginia… According to Pat Robertson’s official biography, he was a distant relative of presidents Benjamin Harrison and William Henry Harrison and “share[d] ancestry with Winston Churchill”The 700 Club took its name from a 1963 telethon in which Robertson asked 700 viewers to pledge $10 a month to meet CBN’s monthly budget… Pat Robertson’s comments about Hugo Chavez were, in part, “If he thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think we really ought to go ahead and do it. It’s a whole lot cheaper than starting a war, and I don’t think any oil shipments will stop… We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability”… Pat Robertson founded Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia in 1977… In January of 2006, Pat Robertson once again stirred the pot by remarking that Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon‘s massive stroke was God’s angry response to Sharon’s foreign and domestic policies… On January 13, 2010 he said “a pact with the devil” made “a long time ago” by the people of Haiti was related to the previous day’s catastrophic earthquake there.

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