Pat Robertson, the renowned Christian broadcaster who transformed a local Virginia station into the global Christian Broadcasting Network, has passed away at the age of 93, according to an announcement by the network on Thursday. The cause of his death was not disclosed in the announcement. Robertson was widely known for his famous "700 Club" television show, which helped make religion a central part of Republican Party politics. In 1988, Robertson ran for President, seeking the GOP nomination. He finished in second place in the Iowa caucuses, ahead of Vice President George H.W. Bush, with the help of his pioneering strategy of courting Iowa's evangelical churches. Robertson's tactic of insisting that three million followers across the U.S. sign petitions before he would decide to run had also brought him a massive base, according to Jeffrey K. Hadden, a University of Virginia sociologist and a Robertson biographer who spoke to The Associated Press. Robertson later endorsed Bush, who won the presidency. Through the experience of running for President, Robertson created the Christian Coalition, which helped cement the Republican Party's enduring alliance with evangelical voters. The pursuit of Iowa's evangelicals is now a ritual for Republican hopefuls, including those seeking the White House in 2024. Robertson's enterprises also included Regent University, an evangelical Christian school in Virginia Beach; the American Center for Law and Justice, which defends the First Amendment rights of religious people; and Operation Blessing, an international humanitarian organization. [tweet_embed]June 08, 2023[/tweet_embed] Born Marion Gordon "Pat" Robertson on March 22, 1930, in Lexington, Virginia, to Absalom Willis Robertson and Gladys Churchill Robertson, his father served 36 years as a U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator from Virginia. After graduating from Washington and Lee University, he served as assistant adjutant of the 1st Marine Division in Korea. He received a law degree from Yale University Law School, where he met his wife, Adelia "Dede" Elmer, but failed the bar exam and chose not to pursue a law career. Robertson resigned as President of his Christian Coalition in 2001, citing a focus on pastoral work. His wife, Dede, a founding member of the Christian Broadcasting Network, passed away last year at 94. Robertson's legacy as a Christian broadcaster, politician, and humanitarian will be remembered for years. This is a developing story; further updates will be provided as they become available. The Associated Press contributed to this report.