|Charles ‘Chuck’ Colson dies at age 80|
|Written by Christine D. Johnson|
|Monday, 23 April 2012 09:37 AM EDT|
Charles “Chuck” Wendell Colson, who became one of the most influential voices in evangelicalism, died Saturday, April 21, at age 80, with his wife, Patty, and the family by his side. The preliminary cause of death is complications resulting from a brain hemorrhage.
A former aide to President Richard Nixon who became known as the “hatchet man,” Colson gave his life to Christ before serving a short prison sentence for obstruction of justice for a Watergate-related conviction.
Colson relayed his testimony through the book Born Again (Chosen/Baker Publishing Group) and the same-titled movie (Crown Entertainment), and went on to write more than 20 books, including The Faith and Dancing With Max (all Zondervan), written with his daughter, Emily, about her autistic son, Max, and The Sky Is Not Falling (Worthy Publishing). He and Richard John Neuhaus served as editors of the book Evangelicals & Catholics Together: Toward a Common Mission (Thomas Nelson).
The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) honored Colson with the Jordon Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010 for his exceptional contribution to the Christian publishing industry. The Body, written with Ellen Vaughn, was named ECPA’s Gold Medallion Christian Book of the Year in 1993. How Now Shall We Live? (Tyndale House Publishers), written with Nancy Pearcey, received a Gold Medallion in 2000.
Colson founded Prison Fellowship in 1976 and worked with local churches and volunteers “to seek the transformation of prisoners and their reconciliation to God, family and community.” One way in which Prison Fellowship did this was through its Angel Tree program at Christmas.
“I could never, ever have left prison and accomplished what has been accomplished but for God doing it through me,” Colson once said.
In 1993, he was awarded the Templeton Prize, donating the more than $1 million he received to Prison Fellowship, and in 2008, President George W. Bush presented Colson with the Presidential Citizens Medal.
In 2010, he founded Colson Center for Christian Worldview, a research, study and networking center aiming to promote a Christian worldview. Colson also wrote a syndicated column, and the daily radio feature started in 1991, “Breakpoint,” aired on more than 1,000 radio stations.
Born in Boston in 1931, Colson earned his bachelor’s degree from Brown University in 1953. He went on to serve as a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1953 to 1955. In 1959, he graduated from George Washington University with his doctorate with honors. In 2005, TIME magazine named him one of the “25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America.”
Colson is survived by his wife, three children and five grandchildren.
The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Charles Colson Legacy Fund. Cards may be sent to Prison Fellowship Ministries, 44180 Riverside Parkway, Lansdowne, VA 20176.