Skip navigation
The chapel and Divinity Building of Regent, a top Virginia Beach college.
M.G. "Pat" Robertson

M.G. “Pat” Robertson


About M.G. “Pat” Robertson, Founder of Regent University

Family Heritage

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 shared 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.

Personal History

In November 1959 Robertson left New York with his wife, Dede, and their 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 authored numerous 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
  • I Have Walked With the Living God
  • Right on the Money: Financial Advice for Tough Times
  • 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 recognized Robertson’s humanitarian efforts. 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
  • The State of Israel Friendship Award, 2002, by the Chicago chapter of the Zionist Organization of America
  • 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 was 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 served on the Board of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and on the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Career Highlights

M.G. “Pat” Robertson achieved national and international recognition as a religious broadcaster, philanthropist, educator, religious leader, businessman and author. He founded The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc., International Family Entertainment Inc., Regent University, Operation Blessing International Relief and Development Corporation, American Center for Law and Justice, The Flying Hospital Inc., the Christian Coalition of America, and several other organizations and broadcast entities.

CBN was founded in 1960 as 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 over 200 nations and heard in 70 languages including Russian, Arabic, Spanish, French and Chinese. CBN’s flagship program, The 700 Club, is one of the longest-running religious television shows.

Founded by Robertson in 1977, Regent University is America’s premier Christian university, with thousands of students studying on its 70-acre campus in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and online around the world. The university offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in more than 150 areas of study including business, communication and the arts, counseling, cybersecurity, divinity, education, government, law, leadership, nursing, healthcare, and psychology.

Operation Blessing International Relief and Development Corporation (OBI), founded by Robertson in 1978, is a non-profit relief and development organization with a mission statement “to demonstrate God’s love by alleviating human need and suffering in the United States and around the world.” OBI has touched the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world, distributing more than $1.2 billion in goods. To help break the cycle of suffering, OBI implements programs that focus on the primary goals of providing hunger relief, medical aid, disaster relief, and community development that will make a significant, long-term impact on those in need.

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.

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.

On June 8, 2023, Robertson entered his rest at the age of 93. Robertson’s remarkable and formidable leadership left an indelible mark on the world. His enduring legacy and profound influence will live on through Regent University, the many organizations he founded, and the countless lives he impacted.