Pat Robertson, an influential religious leader, former presidential candidate, and founder of The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), has passed away at the age of 93.
He was recognized as an unorthodox figure, known for his prayer and political commentary, as well as an innovator who founded a Christian university and humanitarian NGO, according to a CBN tribute report.
Born in 1930, Robertson adopted his nickname “Pat” in place of his birth name, Marion Gordon Robertson.
A Yale-educated lawyer, he originally aimed for success in business, but after becoming a born-again Christian in the 1950s, he felt called to create a Christian broadcasting network.
As he wrote in his autobiography, Shout It From the Housetops, he heard God say, “Go and possess the station. It is yours.”
Faced with limited capital and a rundown TV station, Robertson created The Christian Broadcasting Network in 1960 with just $70.
The network, originating from humble beginnings, blossomed into a global entity, reaching hundreds of millions of people.
Robertson started The 700 Club in 1966, a daily talk show that remains one of the longest-running programs in television history.
Beyond spirituality, Robertson made significant contributions to politics.
He secured interviews with influential political leaders and played a crucial role in Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential victory.
In 1988, Robertson himself ran for the U.S. presidency, finishing second in the Iowa caucuses.
“He shattered the stain glass window,” stated Bishop T.D. Jakes, indicating Robertson’s successful integration of faith into politics.
After his unsuccessful presidential campaign, Robertson founded the Christian Coalition and the American Center for Law and Justice to protect religious freedoms.
Bishop Jakes remarked, “When you think of Pat Robertson, I think one of the major lessons you learn is that if you have a dream, go after it. Even if you fall short of it.”
Robertson’s career was also characterized by moments of boldness and breaking of racial barriers, such as his decisions to hire African Methodist Episcopal Church minister Ben Kinchlow and radio DJ Scott Ross.
“I didn’t think of myself as much of a pioneer…I believe the Bible had instructed that whether rich or poor, male or female, African American or white, we all were one in Christ Jesus,” Robertson wrote in his book, I Have Walked With the Living God.
His philanthropic efforts, including the founding of Operation Blessing, a global humanitarian group, were less recognized.
Despite health setbacks in his later years, he remained dedicated to his mission until he stepped down as a daily host in October 2021.
“What really makes him a giant is that he never pointed toward himself – but to the cross,” noted Bishop Jakes.
Robertson’s faith remained unshaken despite losing his wife Dede in 2022 and struggling with health issues.
He leaves behind a large family and a lasting legacy through his numerous domestic and international ministries.
Former U.S. President Donald J. Trump paid Robertson respect in a Truth Social post on Thursday.
“Today the World lost an incredible and powerful Voice for Faith and Freedom,” Trump said.
“Pat Robertson showed us that Belief in God produces results that can change the course of History. Pat’s legacy lives on in the many endeavors and lives that he touched. He will be greatly missed. Our hearts and prayers are with his Family!”