He was a former Special Counsel to President Richard Nixon from 1969 to 1973. Once known as the "hatchet man" for President Nixon he came to prominence at the height of the Watergate scandal when he was named one of the Watergate Seven. He compiled the notorious “enemies list” of politicians, journalists and activists who were perceived as threats to the White House. He pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for seeking to discredit former Pentagon official Daniel Ellsberg. He served seven months in the federal Maxwell Prison in Alabama as the first member of the Nixon administration to be incarcerated for Watergate-related charges.
A year before going to prison, he gave his life to Jesus Christ. His biographer, Jonathan Aitken, said, "He transferred his huge drive, intellect and maniacal energy from the service of Richard Nixon to the service of Jesus Christ." After his release from prison, he founded Prison Fellowship which today is "the nation’s largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their families". He worked tirelessly to promote prison reform and prisoner rehabilitation. He later founded Justice Fellowship where he used his influence in conservative political circles to push for reforms in the U.S. criminal justice system.
His autobiography “Born Again,” has sold millions of copies and in 1993, he was awarded the prestigious Templeton Prize, worth more than $1 million, which is given each year to the person who has done the most to advance the cause of religion. He has received honorary doctorates from various colleges and universities. And in 2008, he was presented with the Presidential Citizens Medal by President George W. Bush.
He said of his hope in Christ, "Where is the hope? I meet millions of people who feel demoralized by the decay around us. The hope that each of us has is not in who governs us, or what laws we pass, or what great things we do as a nation. Our hope is in the power of God working through the hearts of people. And that's where our hope is in this country. And that's where our hope is in life." He went home to be with Jesus on April 21, 2012. His name is Chuck Colson.
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