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April 21st, 2012
04:39 PM ET

Watergate figure, Christian leader Chuck Colson dies

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - Chuck Colson, a Watergate-era "hatchet man" for President Richard Nixon who became an influential evangelical leader after serving time in prison, died Saturday afternoon, according to his website.

He was 80.

Colson suffered a brain hemorrhage in late March.

Colson was the first Nixon aide to be convicted of Watergate-related charges in the 1972 scandal.

After a short prison sentence, he reinvented himself as a Christian leader and founded Prison Fellowship, which calls itself "the world's largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families," with a presence in 113 countries.

According to his official biography, Colson "admits he was guilty of political 'dirty tricks" and willing to do almost anything for the cause of his president and his party."

But as he prepared to leave prison at the end of his sentence, he promised fellow inmates that he would not forget them or his experience there, his biography says.

In 1976 he founded Prison Fellowship, which provides support for inmates in the form of in-prison Bible studies, mentoring programs and support for the children of prisoners.

Colson also hosted a daily radio commentary called "BreakPoint," which aired on stations nationwide.

Read the full story here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity

soundoff (167 Responses)
  1. David Nelson

    It frustrating that the media always has to tag individuals as leaders when it comes to Christianity. If we are not following Jesus how can we be called Christians? Reminds me of the fact that the Hearst Newspapers decided to make Billy Graham a star. "Puff Graham" was the memo as I recall. Billy Graham said he was baffled by the attention. So if people became so called "christian leaders" it could be because the media has seen to it that they are in the spotlight for whatever reason..

    May 3, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  2. just sayin

    God told me (he really did-I heard him) today that Colson was a little ripe and zombie like when he saw him but he is all fixed up and surfing the clouds above. Hanging 10 for God. God Bless

    April 24, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  3. Marcus P Squeezum

    We will miss you Chuck.

    April 24, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • just sayin

      Miss him liek a wart on an a$$. God Bless

      April 24, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  4. Jorge

    I can't keep a straight face for all these disgraced big shots who "find religion" to water down their dirty laundry for the sake of somehow staying on the gravy train. Where I come from we have a saying, "When a dog is punished for eating $h!t, he will forever sniff it with yearning."

    April 24, 2012 at 9:30 am |
  5. William Demuth

    Another liar dead.

    Good riddance to the charlatan

    April 23, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • just sayin

      All men are liars, God alone is Truth. Few men evidence the service to their fellow men in the fashion Mr. Colson did and few have helped as many. God bless the Colson family at this hard time. God bless

      April 23, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • William Demuth

      Cults just love "captive" subjects to exploit

      Just look what they did to your brain!

      Sorcerers of stupidities construction!

      April 23, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • duckforcover

      Not to mention treasonous criminal. He should have died in prison.

      April 24, 2012 at 1:43 am |
  6. Prayer changes things

    Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    April 23, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • Jesus

      "Prayer changes things"

      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 23, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • just sayin

      Prayer did not work or change anything, the old bas t ard died. Perhaps i fhe had been a better Christian? God Bless

      April 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • just sayin

      Mr Colson lived a life that few do in his witness for Christ. Many are called few are chosen. As a disciple of Christ I would call Mr. Colson one of the chosen. Mr Colson will be missed. God bless

      April 23, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • just sayin

      Colson is burning in hell for his faux Christian ways. God Bless

      April 23, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • just sayin

      Mr Colson is enjoying communion with the Lord Jesus Christ. God bless

      April 23, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • just sayin

      I of course will provide a video of Colson with God. God Bless

      April 24, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  7. AGuest9

    No one's playing his/her game, so he/she has to answer him/herself. Poor, poor Just sayin Atheism is HeavenSent Herbie In God We Trust Prayer Changes Captain America!

    April 22, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Keith

      Perhaps you can clarify something for me:
      If the Coast Guard trains with the ammo they use in combat, then why is not fmj? Aren't hollow points prohibited by the Geneva Convention?

      April 22, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • herbie

      There is no herbie
      Tin foil hat available for fitting

      April 22, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • Keith

      AGuest9 must have left for the evening. Oh well, perhaps the Coastie can answer the question tomorrow.

      April 22, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Herbie, I mean Keith:
      (Yeah, some of us have better things to do than spend the evening educating the illiterate.)

      DHS is the FBI, ICE, SS, USCG, Border, TSA. Perhaps for more agencies would buy from it if it's actually a GWAC contract.
      450 M round contract total for 5 years = 90 M per yr
      15 M rounds per agency – just counting DHS, per year (rounded)

      Qualify 4 times a year on a 120 round qualification course. Per year that leaves enough ammo for 31250 agents per agency – not a whole lot. Hollow points weren't outlawed by the Geneva Convention, and are used by many law enforcement agencies domestically, so there's no reason why the FBI, Secret Service, ICE, Border Patrol or TSA wouldn't use them, even if the USCG doesn't.

      Keep in mind that FDIC auditors and Treasury agents (non-FBI) carry, too, so you'd be amazed who checks in/out at the arms locker every day.

      April 22, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
  8. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    April 22, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • just sayin

      Nope, didn't work for him...he is quite dead. Keep playing. God Bless

      April 23, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • just sayin

      It is appointed unto men, once to die and then the judgement. Threescore and ten is the average life fourscore (80) by reason of strength. It is all any man gets. It is what is done with that time that makes the difference. Mr Colson has given more of himself to those in need than any number of his detractors. Well done Mr. Colson. God bles

      April 23, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • just sayin

      God bless

      April 23, 2012 at 3:11 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 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • just sayin

      Colson did the Devil's work. God Bless

      April 23, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • just sayin

      It is obvious to all that a demonic sin nature rules the troll that has stolen this name. More to be pitied for what it is and what will become of it. Mr Colson , a human life has returned to God who gave it to begin with. He has many here who will grieve his passing. God bless

      April 23, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • just sayin

      I will provide video of the reunion Colson has with God and I can tell you God told me as well. God Bless

      April 24, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  9. Really-O?

    @Chad – "for there to be universal guilt, there has to be universal morality"
    Nice try, and while it is in no way necessary, I will point out that "for there to be universal guilt, there has to be universal morality" is a false premise.

    April 22, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It won't matter. Chard will continue to present the same argument he presents for any issue: It is so because he believes it is so.

      April 22, 2012 at 7:14 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.