Pat Robertson, the influential televangelist who played a significant role in mobilizing Christian conservatives in U.S. politics, passed away at the age of 93 at his home in Virginia. He established the Christian Broadcasting Network in 1960 and went on to host the prominent program “The 700 Club” for several decades. Through this show, he provided prayers and offered political commentary to viewers. One of the notable contributions of “The 700 Club” was its role in rallying support among Christian conservatives for Ronald Reagan during his presidential campaign in 1980. Robertson’s platform played a significant part in galvanizing this support and contributing to Reagan’s successful bid for the presidency.
June 8 (Reuters) – Pat Robertson, the televangelist who helped turn Christian conservatives into a potent force in U.S. politics, died at age 93 at his Virginia home, the Christian Broadcasting Network said in a statement on Thursday.
Robertson founded the network in 1960 and hosted the flagship program “The 700 Club” for decades, offering prayers and political commentary. In 1980, the show helped galvanize support among Christian conservatives for Republican Ronald Reagan’s successful campaign for president.
Robertson unsuccessfully ran for president himself in 1988. He finished second in the Iowa caucuses largely by appealing to the state’s sizable evangelical population, a strategy that has since been standard practice for Republican presidential contenders in the Midwestern state.
Soon after his White House bid, Robertson founded the Christian Coalition, a grassroots organization that proved a powerful mobilizer for the conservative religious voters who became a core constituency for the Republican Party.
His “The 700 Club” show – stemming from a fundraising telethon in which he asked 700 viewers to send monthly contributions – drew a committed audience. But he was also criticized for controversial statements over the years.
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