Watergate figure Chuck Colson reportedly near death
Chuck Colson, 80, underwent surgery this month to remove a pool of clotted blood on the surface of his brain.
April 18th, 2012
12:25 PM ET

Watergate figure Chuck Colson reportedly near death

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Washington (CNN) - Chuck Colson, the convicted Watergate figure turned evangelist, is near death after suffering a brain hemorrhage earlier this month, his media representatives said Wednesday.

“It is with a heavy, but hopeful heart that I share with you that it appears our friend, brother and founder will soon be home with the Lord,” Jim Liske, CEO of Prison Fellowship Ministries, which Colson founded, said in a statement.

“Chuck's condition took a decided turn yesterday, and the doctors advised Patty and the family to gather by his bedside,” Liske said, referring to Colson’s wife.

Colson, 80, underwent surgery this month to remove a pool of clotted blood on the surface of his brain.

Colson was special counsel to President Richard Nixon and the first member of the Nixon administration to serve prison time for charges stemming from the 1972 Watergate scandal.

“He admits he was guilty of political ‘dirty tricks’’ and willing to do almost anything for the cause of his president and his party,” according to Colson’s official biography.

In 1974, Colson served seven months of a one- to three-year sentence. Not long after his release, he founded Prison Fellowship, which calls itself “the world's largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families,” with a presence in 113 countries.

Colson also hosts a daily radio commentary called BreakPoint that airs on stations nationwide.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Leaders

soundoff (369 Responses)
  1. Just me

    Chuck Colson is one of the greatest writers of Christian Apologetics. An interesting term because as Christians and because of Christ, we do not apologize for our faith, but rather rejoice, share, and are glad in it. It is a gift. Our strength emanates from our joy in receiving that most undeserved gift. What a treat to receive daily servings of his servant leadership, his revelations of who and what we are in Christ. Chuck wrote a view of our world and our place within it (not of it) that was sober and sincere, wise and well said. He inspired us to think and live better lives, to help others think and live better lives. His own life is a testimony to supernatural transformation. He was and is, and we can and are redeemed, changed through the loving sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Chuck knew this, lived this, shared this. Not since C.S. Lewis have I read such solid philosophy nor heard such redeeming truth. I know anyone who sincerely seeks the truth will find it within the wonderful witness Chuck so generously and passionately and humbly wove throughout his work and life. "How Now Shall We Live?" LIke Chuck!!!

    April 18, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • There are none so blind

      Wow did YOU ever drink the bathwater!

      April 18, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
  2. Donna French

    I feel sorry for all of you anti Christian, hating people:) What makes you bad mouth Them. You have to be sick(: I don't know how you can live with yourselves(: You well never experience the joy of the life of a Christian(: I feel sorry for all of you(: And Yes, God answers prayer:)

    April 18, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  3. Mike Mitchell

    I see all kinds of flotsam has come out of the woodwork to spit upon aman who made some mistakes and then found redemption! I guess these are the ones who felt justified in throwing the first stone. Chuck Colson was a Godly man and those of you who are still trying to hang him for Watergate are unforgiving. Unforgiveness is a poison you take hoping someone else will die. The only thing that really dies is your humanity, as evidence by your vitriolic statements. I pray for mercy for redemption before it is too late for you.

    April 18, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Donna French

      Mike, Great reply:)

      April 18, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  4. Ruben Lopez

    Chuck Colson is a great hero for the Gospel and a wonderful Christian brother. I'm sad to hear he is not doing. I wish his famiily God's incomparable comfort.

    Ruben, School Psychologist

    April 18, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Atheist

      Colson went from being a dirty politician to being a con-man evangelist. His whole life was a crime.

      April 18, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  5. tinkerbell jesus... clap your hands so he won't disappear

    After trying to destroy what America stands for by helping 'tricky dick' create a near-fascist regime, I wonder what gawwwwd he served. America's Gawwwwd? That's just great... from one fascist vision to another...

    April 18, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  6. Hans

    Karl Marx said "Religion is the opiate of the masses". It takes one person to offer it to thousands. Charles Colson was rightenous

    April 18, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  7. Dennis McMahon

    Watergate was more than 40 years ago and, no matter what good people like Chuck Colson have done in the meantime, some of us still wish them pain in their last days on earth and eternal punishment in hell? No wonder religion gets a bad name. If that is righteousness, I want no part of it, and will be happy to take my chances with a belief in a loving and forgiving God no matter what the "good book" says to the contrary. I know that book as well as any person alive today and if some people don't get that they missed everything.

    April 18, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  8. lk

    i had no idea he was a cook! thanks for the insight gerg!

    April 18, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  9. Joy

    Can't wait to spend all of eternity in Heaven someday and get to personally know very great, Godly men like Chuck Colson. What an incredible blessing and inspiration he has been to hundreds of thousands. So sad to see you leave here, but rejoicing for the glory that soon awaits you as you are welcomed 'home' by your Savior and Lord, Jesus.

    April 18, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • satanblewme

      hopefully people like you don't have to wait long. too many brainwashed fools out there. it's getting quite worrisome.

      April 18, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • Bob

      Why wait? Eat a bullet.

      April 18, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Me

      satan: It's called sarcasm.

      April 18, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • David

      Nice work Joy! I have heard Chuck on the radio many times since his time in prison and he is a new man through the power of Christ.

      April 18, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • I hear voices too... let's be 'friends'

      So, you hear voices from your Invisisble Friend and he 'told' you this? You silly-head...

      April 18, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  10. Gerg

    Just another crook and religious cook who thinks that all they have to do is say I'm sorry and all will be forgiven. Religion is just an excuse to do bad things and not own up to it.

    April 18, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • satanblewme

      this type of religion is a convienience, a crutch, and an excuse.

      April 18, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • lawrenceroff

      Look at the evidence from decades of Colson's life. He DID own up to it! And he lived an entirely new life as a result.

      April 18, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Justin

      What bad things would you be talking about? If a person has no personal faith in any deity, where do they draw their moral compass? Is society the be all and end all from what is right and wrong? The same society that allowed 6 million Jewish people and other "non-desirable" people get slaughtered in WW2?

      You can blame religion and faith all you want. I have a hunch people react to people's faith since deep down they desire to have the same kind of faith, but for some reason they struggle to accept it. And rather than accepting that people do bad things because we are selfish beings, they assault a person's faith.

      Really a person that does not believe in God or religion is really making themselves a god. Since they are ultimately the intolerant one sitting in judgment or mocking them for the belief. It is a really sad and immature outlook on life. Both religious and non–religious people are both sinful people, but why do we set a different standard for the people that have faith?

      April 18, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  11. To2012

    I got to know Chuck a bit many years ago and can attest to the fact that this man not only talked the talk, but walked the walk. Nobody rehabilitated him–he rehabilitated himself. He owned up fully to who he was, without excuses, accepted his punishment and changed his life. His service to others since that time shows humility and depth of character. He will certainly be leaving this world a better place. My condolences to his family.

    April 18, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • just sayin

      Amen ! God Bless !

      April 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Bob

      Too little, too late.

      April 18, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  12. Odin

    good–hope it hurt

    April 18, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  13. Lou

    Couldn't stand any of the Nixon criminals. But Colson did a lot of good after his time in prison. We should be happy for his dedication to helping those who really needed help. RIP, Chuck. (Not sure I could say the same to Haldeman, Erlichman or Trickie Dick)

    April 18, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    April 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • satanblewme

      for instance, i pray that you get flattened by an Airbus that fell out of the sky. it could happen. after all, i prayed for it. surely someone listens to that nonsense. right?

      April 18, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Atheist

      That's kind of nasty, don't you think? Lots of us don't share your beliefs.

      April 18, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!.!

      April 18, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • Me

      Yes, it makes some feel better, and it makes some others richer. But, of course, it changes nothing in the real world.

      April 18, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  15. Barry G.

    At least he found redemption, before he dies.

    There are many in and outside of Washington, D.C., who don't and are in for a rude awakening, when they realize that the evil they committed in this life is not going to be overlooked.

    April 18, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Richard


      April 18, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  16. lawrenceroff

    Chuck gave powerful evidence to the marvelous grace of God in forgiving and using sinners (as we all are!) who come in genuine repentance to seek cleansing at the foot of the cross of Christ. His openness in acknowledging his sin, his selflessness in serving prisoners and their families through the world-wide Prison Fellowship ministry he established, and his incredible insights about living out a Biblical world-and-life view provided a powerful model for others to follow in his footsteps as he showed us how to follow Jesus. How sad to see posts from those who show no capacity for forgiveness from their own hearts, or recognition of the possibility of a life of wickedness being transformed by the power of God into a life of goodness.

    April 18, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • satanblewme

      wow, your priest loved you hard and loved you long.

      April 18, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  17. izandroro

    You are a horrible person chuch colson.....burn in hell

    April 18, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  18. sam

    Finally, some good news today. I hope to live long enough to see all of nixon's evil henchmen consigned to hell.

    April 18, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Beth S

      Sam, Sorry to disappoint you but Chuck Colson will not be in Hell – as well as thousands of other criminals who heard about the saving power of Jesus Christ through his ministry. Jesus came to save SINNERS. That means Chuck and YOU, and me . I pray you will trust Christ with your eternal soul as well.

      April 18, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Deni

      Sam, only God knows and can judge where our souls spend eternity.

      April 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • falcon

      Watergate was political "business as usual". No one was killed, it was reputations that were ruined.
      Ted Kennedy: There's a man who should have served a long sentence, but he got off unscathed.
      Fast and Furious: Responsible for deaths.

      April 18, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • kevin

      Balencing everything out sam you may be more likley to see hell than chuck colson, However as good christian ,IHPOPE THATboth you and the othe acusers may change your minds and get a chance to meet both crhist and colson.

      April 18, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  19. Lawrence Temfwe

    I served with Chuck Colson when I was Director at Prison Fellowship. His work and books have had great impacts in transforming criminal justice in several nations. I pray for miraclous healing in Jesus Name

    April 18, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • just sayin

      I too know Chuck and join in your prayers for him. Chuck has been an inspiration in Christian leadership. God bless

      April 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • satanblewme

      i also knew chuck. i found him trying to impregnate an altar boy. i don't think he was aware of how the birds and the bees worked.

      April 18, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  20. jimbo

    God, the kiss of death.

    April 18, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.