Pat Robertson, a prominent figure in American Christianity, known for his leadership, writings, and business ventures, passed away on June 8, 2023, in the comfort of his home, surrounded by his loved ones. The announcement of his death was made by The Christian Broadcasting Network, an organization he founded and chaired.
Dr. Robertson played significant roles in various influential organizations throughout his life. He was the founder and chairman of The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc. (CBN), chancellor and CEO of Regent University, founder of Operation Blessing Relief and Development Corporation (OB), president of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), co-founder and chairman of International Family Entertainment, Inc., and a driving force behind several other notable broadcast entities.
Born on March 22, 1930, in Lexington, Virginia, Pat Robertson was the son of A. Willis Robertson and Gladys Churchill Robertson. His father had a distinguished political career, serving in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate for a total of 34 years.
In 1959, with only $70 in hand but a vision to establish the first Christian television network in the United States, Pat Robertson relocated his family to Tidewater, Virginia. Despite not even owning a TV at the time, he filed incorporation papers for The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc. and subsequently raised funds to acquire a defunct UHF station.
On October 1, 1961, CBN began its broadcasts from WYAH-TV in Portsmouth, Virginia, with a limited signal range that only reached the city limits. Recalling those early days, his son Gordon Robertson, currently the president and CEO of CBN, acknowledged the humble beginnings of the ministry.
Over the decades, the scope of Pat Robertson’s ministry expanded exponentially, reaching audiences across America and around the world through television broadcasts, cable, satellite, the Internet, and various other media platforms. Today, CBN stands as one of the largest evangelistic ministries worldwide, spreading the Good News in over 100 countries and multiple languages, including Russian, Arabic, Spanish, French, and Chinese.
The flagship program of CBN, The 700 Club, originated from a telethon in 1963 when Pat Robertson appealed to a “club” of 700 viewers to contribute $10 per month. In 1966, The 700 Club program officially launched, featuring interviews, prayer, and ministry content. It has since become one of the longest-running religious television programs in the United States.
Pat Robertson hosted the daily program until October 1, 2021, which marked the sixtieth anniversary of CBN’s first broadcast. On that day, he announced that his son Gordon Robertson would be taking over as the show’s new full-time host. Throughout the years, Pat Robertson had co-hosts such as Ben Kinchlow, Sheila Walsh, Terry Meeuwsen, Gordon Robertson, and Wendy Griffith.
The 700 Club and CBN News, throughout their broadcast history, have covered significant national and international events and issues, including elections, the COVID-19 pandemic, the war on terror, and matters pertaining to Israel and the Middle East. The programs have featured esteemed guests such as former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and Donald Trump, as well as prominent congressional leaders from both political parties, journalists, professional athletes, celebrities, and influential figures from around the world.