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Pat Robertson

Evangelist / TV Personality

Born: 22 March 1930
Birthplace: Lexington, Virginia
Best known as: Host of the Christian TV program The 700 Club
Pat Robertson is the founder, chairman and prominent public face of the Christian Broadcasting Network. As host of the CBN's long-running religious magazine show The 700 Club, he has been an outspoken proponent of conservative politics and evangelical Christianity in America. Robertson graduated from Washington and Lee university in 1950, 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 has often been criticized for outlandish off-the-cuff statements on The 700 Club, including his 2005 suggestion that the United States should assassinate President Hugh Chavez of Venezuela.
Extra credit: 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 is a distant relative of presidents Benjamin Harrison and William Henry Harrison and "shares 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... 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"... Robertson founded Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia in 1977... In January of 2006 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 13 January 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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