Robertson, 90, founded the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) in 1960. The network began by broadcasting on a part-time basis out of a UHF station in Portsmouth, Va. Today, CBN is a media powerhouse, headquartered in Virginia Beach, Va. It delivers original programming in 70 languages to approximately 200 countries.
The network features “The 700 Club,” a magazine-style show that’s one of the longest-running television seriesin the United States. It reaches an average of a million viewers each day. Robertson makes weekly appearances on the show and offers commentary about headline news items of the day.
In addition to starting CBN, Robertson launched the Operation Blessing International Relief and Development Corporation, an international nonprofit relief and development organization. He also started International Family Entertainment Inc., Regent University, as well the American Center for Law and Justice.
And, in 1989, a year after he ended his campaign for the 1988 Republican party presidential nomination, he created the Christian Coalition, a political organization that advances conservative issues. He headed that group until 2002.
In 2007, Robertson stepped down from his day-to-day management role at CBN, as his son Gordon assumed a more prominent position there. The elder Robertson, however, continued his involvement with “The 700 Club.”
Born in Lexington, Va., Robertson is a graduate (magna cum laude) of his hometown Washington and Lee University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corp Reserve while in college andlater served as assistant adjutant of the First Marine Division in Korea. He was named a first lieutenant when he returned home.
Robertson next earned a law degree at Yale University Law School in 1955, and four years later, a graduate divinity degree at the New York Theological Seminary. He has authored 19 books. Three have, or are set to, come out this year. They include:• “True Faith: Embracing Adversity to Live in God’s Light,” • “Ten Laws for Success: Keys to Win in Work, Family, and Finance,” and • “I Have Walked With the Living God.”
Politics always held a special calling for Robertson. His father, A. Willis Robertson, had a 34-year career as a U.S. congressman and senator from Virginia. The family’s ancestry includes Benjamin Harrison, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and governor of Virginia. Harrison’s son, William Henry Harrison,and great-grandson, Benjamin Harrison, both became U.S. presidents.
Pat Robertson and his wife Dede Robertson have four children, 14 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.They reside in Virginia Beach.