Founder, Chancellor & Chief Executive Officer
“Our graduates are servant leaders who are providing Godly solutions to many of the challenges we face as a society.”
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 70 dollars in his pocket, Robertson proceeded to raise the finances to purchase the station. CBN was formed on January 11, 1960, and on October 1, 1961, CBN went on the air for the first time.
Robertson is the author of nineteen books including:
- The New World Order, number four on the New York Times's non-fiction list of America's best-selling books and number-one religious book in America in its year of publication
- The Secret Kingdom, number three on Time Magazine's national non-fiction list and number-one religious book in America in its year of publication
- Answers to 100 of Life's Most Probing Questions, number-one religious book in America in its year of publication
- Right on the Money: Financial Advice for Tough Times
- The Greatest Virtue
- Miracles Can be Yours Today
- Courting Disaster
- The Ten Offenses
- Bring It On
- Six Steps to Revival
- The Turning Tide
- The New Millennium
- The End of the Age, his first fiction work
- And others.
Numerous governors, state legislators and mayors have recognized Robertson's humanitarian efforts with citations. Just a few of his honors include:
- Humanitarian of the Year, 1982, by Food for the Hungry
- Man of the Year, 1988, by Students for America
- Christian Broadcaster of the Year, 1989, by National Religious Broadcasters
- One of America's 100 Cultural Elite, 1992, Newsweek Magazine
- Defender of Israel Award, 1994, by the Christians' Israel Public Action Campaign
- Cross of Nails Award, 2000, for his vision, inspiration and humanitarian work with The Flying Hospital
- Distinguished Virginian Award, 2002, by The Virginia Association of Broadcasters
- The State of Israel Friendship Award, 2002, by the Chicago chapter of the Zionist Organization of America
- Induction to the Virginia Cable Hall of Fame, 2008
- Lifetime Achievement Award for Support of Israel, 2008, by the International
Fellowship of Christians and Jews
- New York Theological Seminary Distinction in Ministry Award, 2009
- Induction to the Hampton Roads Business Hall of Fame, 2009
- Winston Churchill Lifetime Achievement Award, 2013, by Faith & Freedom Coalition
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 previously served on the Board of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and on the Governor's Council of Economic Advisors in the State of Virginia. Robertson founded and served as a past president of the Christian Coalition of America until his resignation in late 2001.
Pat and Dede Robertson have four children, fourteen grandchildren, nine great grandchildren, and reside in Virginia Beach, Virginia.