Charles W. Colson, who as a political saboteur for President Richard M. Nixon masterminded some of the dirty tricks that led to the president’s downfall, then emerged from prison to become an important evangelical leader, saying he had been “born again,” died on Saturday. He was 80.
The cause was complications of a brain hemorrhage, according to Prison Fellowship Ministries, which Mr. Colson founded in Lansdowne, Va. He died at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va., and lived in Naples, Fla., and Leesburg, Va.
Mr. Colson had brain surgery to remove a clot after becoming ill on March 30 while speaking at a conference, according to Jim Liske, the group’s chief executive.
Mr. Colson was sent to prison after pleading guilty to obstructing justice in the Watergate affair. After having what he called his religious awakening behind bars, he spent much of the rest of his life ministering to prisoners, preaching the Gospels and forging a coalition of Republican politicians, evangelical church leaders and Roman Catholic conservatives that has had a pronounced influence on American politics.
It was a remarkable reversal.
I'm confident that God is giving the man eternal rest.
Just over two months ago, he had these wise words to say to all of us: