Oral Roberts, dead at 91

Leading televangelist built a religious empire in the 70s and 80s

Oral Roberts, one of the biggest names in U.S. televangelism, has died at 91 of complications from pneumonia. Roberts embraced television early in its history, beginning in 1954, when he filmed worship services conducted under a traveling tent that held up to 10,000 people. By the 1970s, “Oral Roberts and You” was the leading religious telecast in the nation and, by 1985, Roberts stood at the head of an empire that employed more than 2,300 people and earned $110 million in revenue. He is survived by a daughter, Roberta Potts, and a son, Richard Roberts, who succeeded him as president of Oral Roberts University and resigned in 2007.

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