Christian Worldview founder Chuck Colson has died at the age of 80. After a brief illness, Colson passed away at a Northern Virginia hospital with his wife, Patty, and family at his bedside.
On March 30, he became ill while speaking at a Colson Center for Christian Worldview conference in Lansdowne.
The following morning Colson had surgery to remove a pool of clotted blood on the surface of his brain, and doctors determined he had suffered an intracerebral hemorrhage.
Though he remained in intensive care, doctors and family were optimistic for a recovery as he showed some signs of improvement.
However, Colson became gravely ill when further complications developed.
A Watergate figure who emerged from the country’s worst political scandal, a vocal Christian leader and a champion for prison ministry, Colson spent the last years of his life in the dual role of leading Prison Fellowship, the world’s largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families, and the Colson Center, a research and training center focused on Christian worldview teaching.
Colson has been a central figure in the evangelical Christian community since he shocked the Washington establishment in 1973 by revealing his new Christian commitment in the midst of the Watergate inquiry.
In later years Colson would say that because he was known primarily as Nixon’s “Hatchet Man,” the declaration that ” ‘I’ve been born again and given my life to Jesus Christ’ kept the political cartoonists of America clothed and fed for a solid month.”
It also gave new visibility to the emerging movement of “born-again” Christians.
In 1974 Colson entered a plea of guilty to Watergate-related charges; although not implicated in the Watergate burglary, he voluntarily pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in the Daniel Ellsberg Case, which was prosecuted in the acutely sensitive Watergate atmosphere.