Pat Robertson (Marion Gordon Robertson), 1930–, American evangelist and politician, b. Lexington, Va. The son of U.S. Senator A. Willis Robertson, he is a graduate of Yale Law School and an ordained Southern Baptist minister. In 1960 he founded the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN). As host of a television talk show (1968–86, 1988–) on CBN and its cable channel (later the Family Channel; sold in 1997) that blends evangelical Protestantism with conservative politics, he has attained a large and loyal following. Robertson campaigned unsuccessfully for the 1988 Republican presidential nomination. In 1989 he founded the Christian Coalition, a conservative Christian political group that has been influential in the Republican party; he served as its president until 2001. In 2005–6 he attracted attention with a number of highly controversial remarks, including calling for the assassination of President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela. Robertson is the author of a number of books, including an apocalyptic novel (1996).
See his autobiography (rev. ed. 1995); biographies by D. E. Harrell, Jr. (1987) and J. B. Donovan (1988); studies by G. T. Straub (1986), H. Morken (1988), A. D. Hertzke (1993), R. Boston (1996), and A. Foege (1996).