M. G. "Pat" Robertson has achieved national and international recognition as a religious broadcaster, philanthropist, educator, religious leader, businessman, and author. He is the founder and chairman of The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) Inc., and founder of International Family Entertainment Inc., Regent University, Operation Blessing International Relief and Development Corporation, American Center for Law and Justice, The Flying Hospital, Inc. and several other organizations and broadcast entities.
Founded in 1960, CBN was the first Christian television network established in the United States. Today CBN is one of the world's largest television ministries and produces programming seen in 180 nations and heard in 71 languages including Russian, Arabic, Spanish, French and Chinese. CBN's flagship program, The 700 Club, which Mr. Robertson hosts, is one of the longest running religious television shows and reaches an average of one million American viewers daily.
Operation Blessing International Relief and Development Corporation, founded by Mr. Robertson in 1978, is a non-profit organization that provides humanitarian aid in the form of food, clothing, medicine, and financial assistance to help disadvantaged people and disaster victims throughout the world. Operation Blessing has provided nearly $500 million -- which includes Operation Blessing donations and matching funds from other organizations -- to assist nearly 130 million people in 50 states and 71 foreign countries. In 1996, Operation Blessing completed the conversion of a Lockheed L1011 airliner into a flying hospital which brings state-of-the-art medical assistance to remote areas of the world. The Flying Hospital was sold to a charitable not-for-profit organization in 2000. However, the Flying Hospital will continue to be an integral part of evangelistic missions with Operation Blessing International.
Robertson was the founder and co-chairman of International Family Entertainment Inc. (IFE). Formed in 1990, IFE produced and distributed family entertainment and information programming worldwide. IFE's principal business was The Family Channel, a satellite delivered cable-television network with 63 million U.S. subscribers. IFE, a publicly held company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, was sold in 1997 to Fox Kids Worldwide, Inc. for $1.9 billion. Disney acquired the Fox Family Channel in 2001 and named it ABC Family.
Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Regent University was founded in 1977 by Robertson, who serves as its chancellor. Regent is a fully accredited graduate school that offers degrees in communication, education, counseling, business, divinity, government, law, and organizational leadership. The school is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and has an enrollment of nearly 2600 students.
Robertson is founder and president of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a public interest law firm and education group that defends the First Amendment rights of people of faith. The law firm focuses on pro-family, pro-liberty and pro-life cases nationwide.
Marion Gordon "Pat" Robertson was born on March 22, 1930, in Lexington, Virginia, to A. Willis Robertson and Gladys Churchill Robertson. His father served for 34 years in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. Robertson's ancestry includes Benjamin Harrison, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and governor of Virginia, and two United States presidents, William Henry Harrison and Benjamin Harrison, the great-grandson of the signer of the Declaration of Independence. Robertson also shares ancestry with Winston Churchill.
After graduating with honors from McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, a military prep school, Robertson entered Washington and Lee University in 1946, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. In 1948 he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. After graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington and Lee in 1950, Robertson served as the assistant adjutant of the First Marine Division in combat in Korea. He was promoted to first lieutenant in 1952 upon his return to the United States. Robertson received a juris doctor degree from Yale University Law School in 1955 and a master of divinity degree from New York Theological Seminary in 1959.
In November 1959 Robertson left New York with his wife, Dede, and their three children and drove to Tidewater, Virginia, where he planned to buy a bankrupt UHF television station in Portsmouth. Arriving with only seventy dollars in his pocket, Robertson proceeded to raise the finances to purchase the station. CBN was formed January 11, 1960, and on October 1, 1961, CBN went on the air for the first time.
Robertson is the author of thirteen books including "Bring It On," "Six Steps To Revival," "The Turning Tide," "The New Millennium," "The New World Order," and his first fiction, "The End of the Age." "The Secret Kingdom" was number three on Time magazine's national non-fiction list. "The New World Order" was number four on the New York Times' non-fiction list of America's best selling books. "The Secret Kingdom," "Answers to 100 of Life's Most Probing Questions," and "The New World Order" were each in their respective year of publication the number one religious book in America.
Numerous governors, state legislators and mayors have recognized Robertson's humanitarian efforts with citations. In 1982, he was named Humanitarian of the Year by Food for the Hungry. In 1988 Robertson was named Man of the Year by Students for America and Christian Broadcaster of the Year by National Religious Broadcasters in 1989. In 1992, Robertson was selected by Newsweek magazine as one of America's 100 Cultural Elite. In recognition of his steadfast support for the nation of Israel, Robertson received the Defender of Israel Award in January 1994 from the Christians' Israel Public Action Campaign. In March 2000, Robertson received the prestigious Cross of Nails award for his vision, inspiration and humanitarian work with the Flying Hospital. The award was presented for the first time in the United States in more than 25 years.
Robertson is past president of the prestigious Council on National Policy. In 1982 he served on President Ronald Reagan's Task Force on Victims of Crime. He is currently a member of the Board of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, and previously served on the Governor's Council of Economic Advisors in the State of Virginia.
Pat and Dede Robertson have four children and thirteen grandchildren and reside in Virginia Beach, Virginia.