Chancellor Oral Roberts

January 24, 1918 - December 15, 2009
Photo of Oral Roberts

Oral Roberts, C.A., M. Div., LL.D., born January 24, 1918, is recognized as one of the outstanding personalities of his generation. Educator, evangelist, businessman, author, and television personality are among the many titles for which Roberts gained acclaim. He received his formal education at Oklahoma Baptist and Phillips Universities. In 1947 he started his evangelistic ministry to pray for the healing of the whole man. He conducted more than 300 crusades on six continents, and appeared as guest speaker for hundreds of national and international meetings and conventions.

Oral Roberts authored more than 120 books, including his autobiography, Expect a Miracle and Miracle of Seed-Faith, with nearly eight million copies in circulation. As part of his work as an author, Roberts published several written commentaries on the Bible, as well as a complete commentary on cassette tape: Oral Roberts Reading the New Testament with His Life's Teachings.

The university that bears Oral Roberts' name was chartered in 1963 and accepted its first students in 1965. Roberts is also the founder of Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association (OREA) as well as University Village, a retirement complex for 450 residents.

In 1981 Roberts founded the City of Faith Medical and Research Center, the largest health facility of its kind in the world, in order to merge the healing streams of prayer and medicine as God had revealed it to him. The City of Faith was in operation for eight years and closed in late 1989, having revolutionized the medical world's concept of primary patient care and the importance of treating the whole person–spirit, mind, and body. Today the facility, known as CityPlex Towers, is home to a wide variety of businesses, including healthcare, telecommunications, publishing and software development companies.

Roberts was active in Tulsa community life. He served on the boards of the Bank of Oklahoma and Oklahoma Natural Gas and is a lifetime member and a Harris Fellow of Rotary International. Extremely proud of his Oklahoma and Indian heritage, Roberts was honored in 1963 as "Indian of the Year" by the American Indian Exposition. In 1973, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, and in 1974, he was named Oklahoman of the Year by the American Broadcasters Association. He received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Centenary College in 1975 and an honorary doctor of divinity degree from the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel in 1988.

Roberts was born on January 24, 1918, in Pontotoc County, Oklahoma. He was the fifth and youngest child of Rev. and Mrs. Ellis M. Roberts. He was married to the late Evelyn Roberts on December 25, 1938. He is the father of four children: the late Mrs. Rebecca Nash, the late Ronald Roberts, Richard Roberts, and Mrs. Roberta Potts. Roberts went to be with the Lord on December 15, 2009.