The Christian Broadcasting Network announced on Thursday the passing of the renowned Christian broadcaster, Pat Robertson, at the age of 93. The network did not disclose the cause of his death.
Robertson gained fame through his popular television show, the “700 Club,” and played a significant role in bringing religion to the forefront of Republican Party politics.
In 1988, Robertson embarked on a presidential campaign, seeking the GOP nomination. His innovative strategy involved targeting evangelical churches in Iowa, which helped him secure a second-place finish in the state’s caucuses, surpassing Vice President George H.W. Bush. Additionally, Robertson’s requirement of gathering three million signatures before making a decision to run garnered him a substantial following across the United States.
Eventually, Robertson endorsed Bush, who went on to win the presidency. His presidential campaign experience led to the establishment of the Christian Coalition, an organization that solidified the enduring alliance between the Republican Party and evangelical voters. Courting Iowa’s evangelicals has since become a common practice for Republican candidates, including those currently vying for the presidency in 2024.
Aside from his television endeavors, Robertson founded various enterprises, such as Regent University, an evangelical Christian institution located in Virginia Beach. He also established the American Center for Law and Justice, which advocates for the First Amendment rights of religious individuals, and Operation Blessing, an international humanitarian organization.
Born on March 22, 1930, in Lexington, Vir
ginia, as Marion Gordon “Pat” Robertson, he was the son of Absalom Willis Robertson and Gladys Churchill Robertson. His father served as a U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator from Virginia for 36 years.
Robertson graduated from Washington and Lee University before serving as assistant adjutant of the 1st Marine Division in Korea. Although he obtained a law degree from Yale University Law School, where he met his wife Adelia “Dede” Elmer, he chose not to pursue a legal career after failing the bar exam.
Dede, a founding member of the Christian Broadcasting Network, passed away last year at the age of 94.
In 2001, Robertson resigned as president of the Christian Coalition, citing a desire to focus on his ministerial work.