CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at the life of televangelist Pat Robertson.


Date of Birth: March 22, 1930

Place of birth: Lexington, Virginia

Birth name: Marion Gordon Robertson

Dad: Absalom Willis Robertson, politician

Mother: Gladys Churchill (Willis) Robertson

Marriage: Adelia “Dede” (Elmer) Robertson (August 27, 1954–present)

Children: Timothy, Elizabeth, Gordon and Ann

Education: Washington and Lee University, BA, 1950; Yale University, JD, 1955; New York Theological Seminary, M.Div., 1959

Military service: United States Marine Corps Reserve, 1948-1952, First Lieutenant

Religion: Christian

Other facts

Robertson’s political platform included fiscal and moral conservatism.

“The 700 Club” is the flagship program of the Christian Broadcasting Network. The “700” refers to an early fundraising goal set by Robertson for a telethon on the show.

Made a number of controversial remarks throughout his time as host of “The 700 Club”, such as suggesting that God was punishing Americans with Hurricane Katrina and saying that a “deal with the devil” had caused the devastating earthquake in Haiti.


January 11, 1960 Founds the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN).

1961 Is ordained a Southern Baptist minister.

October 1, 1961CBN airs for the first time.

1966 Creates the TV show “The 700 Club”.

1977 – Founds CBN University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. It was then renamed Regent University.

1987Resigned from Southern Baptist Convention ministry to run for president.

May 16, 1988 – Withdrawal from the presidential race.

1989 – Founds the Christian Coalition of America.

May 1992Made a $6 million bid on the United Press International news service. In June, Robertson withdraws the accepted offer, citing economic problems.

September 13, 2001 – Issues a statement saying that America has been attacked “because Almighty God is raising His protection against us”.

August 22, 2005 – On air, Robertson suggests that the United States assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, saying, “We have the ability to get him (Chavez) out, and I think now is the time to exercise that ability.”

January 5, 2006 – Says Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s stroke is punishment for ‘dividing God’s land’.

November 30, 2007Cedes management of CBN to his son, Gordon.

2008 – Appears in a commercial with Al Sharpton for Al Gore’s nonprofit, Alliance for Climate Protection.

August 19, 2009 Had successful heart surgery after suffering from atrial fibrillation.

November 2009 – Following the shooting at Fort Hood, Robertson commented on the air that Islam was not a religion but a “violent political system”.

September 13, 2011 – In “The 700 Club”, Robertson tells viewers that divorcing a spouse with Alzheimer’s disease is okay because it’s a “kind of death”.

March 7, 2012 – During an interview with The New York Times, Robertson said marijuana should be legalized and given the same treatment under the law as alcohol.

August 27, 2013 – In “The 700 Club”, Robertson claims that gay men in San Francisco deliberately tried to infect others with HIV, saying, “You know what they do in San Francisco, some members of the community gay there, they want to attract people, so if they have the thing, they’ll have a ring, you shake hands, and the ring has a little thing where you cut your finger.

July 12, 2017 – Interview President Donald Trump for “The 700 Club.”

October 10, 2017 – Claims that the Las Vegas shooting is linked to disrespect for Trump and the national anthem.

February 2, 2018 – CBN reports that Robertson suffered a stroke. Robertston recovers and returns to “The 700 Club” 10 days later.

June 2, 2020 – Robertson condemns Trump’s response to nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd and police brutality, saying “you just don’t do that, Mr. President.”

December 21, 2020 – Says Trump lives in an ‘alternate reality’ and should ‘move on’ after his 2020 election loss.

April 15, 2021 – Lashes out at police over the ‘onset’ of violence against black Americans, saying ‘they have to stop this stuff’.

October 1, 2021 – Steps down as regular host of long-running Christian talk show “The 700 Club”. Robertson will still appear in monthly episodes but plans to focus on teaching at Regent University, the Christian college in Virginia he founded, according to CBN.

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