Charles Colson

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Chuck Colson
Director of the Office of Public Liaison
In office
July 9, 1970 – March 10, 1973
PresidentRichard Nixon
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byWilliam Baroody
White House Counsel
In office
November 6, 1969 – July 9, 1970
PresidentRichard Nixon
Preceded byJohn Ehrlichman
Succeeded byJohn Dean
Personal details
Charles Wendell Colson

(1931-10-16)October 16, 1931
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
DiedApril 21, 2012(2012-04-21) (aged 80)
Falls Church, Virginia, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Nancy Billings
(m. 1953; div. 1964)
Patricia Hughes
(m. 1964)
EducationBrown University (BA)
George Washington University (JD)

Charles Wendell Colson (October 16, 1931 – April 21, 2012), generally referred to as Chuck Colson, was an American attorney and political advisor who served as Special Counsel to President Richard Nixon from 1969 to 1970. Once known as President Nixon's "hatchet man", Colson gained notoriety at the height of the Watergate scandal, for being named as one of the Watergate Seven and also for pleading guilty to obstruction of justice for attempting to defame Pentagon Papers defendant Daniel Ellsberg.[1] In 1974, Colson 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.[2]

Colson became an evangelical Christian in 1973. His mid-life religious conversion sparked a radical life change that led to the founding of his non-profit ministry Prison Fellowship and, three years later, Prison Fellowship International, to a focus on Christian worldview teaching and training around the world. Colson was also a public speaker and the author of more than 30 books.[3] He was the founder and chairman of The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, which is a research, study, and networking center for growing in a Christian worldview, and which produces Colson's daily radio commentary, BreakPoint, heard on more than 1,400 outlets across the United States currently presented by John Stonestreet.[4][5]

Colson was a principal signer of the 1994 Evangelicals and Catholics Together ecumenical document signed by leading Evangelical Protestants and Roman Catholic leaders in the United States.

Colson received 15 honorary doctorates and in 1993 was awarded the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, the world's largest annual award (over US$1 million) in the field of religion, given to a person who "has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life's spiritual dimension". He donated the prize to further the work of Prison Fellowship, as he did all his speaking fees and royalties. In 2008, he was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal by President George W. Bush.

Early life, education, and family[edit]

Charles Wendell Colson was born on October 16, 1931 in Boston, the son of Inez "Dizzy" (née Ducrow) and Wendell Ball Colson.[6] He was of Swedish and British descent.[7]

In his youth, Colson had seen the charitable works of his parents. His mother cooked meals for the hungry during the Depression and his father donated his legal services to the United Prison Association of New England.

During World War II, Colson organized fund-raising campaigns in his school for the war effort that raised enough money to buy a Jeep for the army.[8] In 1948, he volunteered in the campaign to re-elect the Governor of Massachusetts, Robert Bradford.

After turning down a full scholarship to Harvard University and attending Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge in 1949, he earned his AB, with honors, in history from Brown University in 1953, and his J.D., with honors, from George Washington University Law School in 1959. At Brown, he was a member of Beta Theta Pi.

Colson's first marriage was to Nancy Billings in 1953; they have three children, Wendell Ball II (born 1954), Christian Billings (1956), and Emily Ann (1958). After some years of separation, the marriage ended in divorce in January 1964. He married Patricia Ann Hughes on April 4, 1964.

Early career[edit]

Colson served in the United States Marine Corps from 1953 to 1955, reaching the rank of captain. From 1955 to 1956, he was the assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Material). He worked on the successful 1960 campaign of Leverett Saltonstall (U.S. Republican Party for the U.S. Senate) and was his administrative assistant from 1956 to 1961. In 1961 Colson founded the law firm of Colson & Morin, which swiftly grew to a Boston and Washington, D.C presence with the addition of former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Edward Gadsby and former Raytheon Company general counsel Paul Hannah. Colson and Morin shortened the name to Gadsby & Hannah in late 1967. Colson left the firm to join the Richard Nixon administration in January 1969.

Nixon administration[edit]

Colson with President Richard Nixon and pollster Louis Harris on October 13, 1971, in the Oval Office

White House duties[edit]

In 1968, Colson served as counsel to Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon's Key Issues Committee.[9] On November 6, 1969, Colson was appointed as Special Counsel to President Nixon.[9]

Colson was responsible for inviting influential private special interest groups into the White House policy-making process and winning their support on specific issues. His office served as the President's political communications liaison with organized labor, veterans, farmers, conservationists, industrial organizations, citizen groups, and almost any organized lobbying group whose objectives were compatible with the Administration's. Colson's staff broadened the White House lines of communication with organized constituencies by arranging presidential meetings and sending White House news releases of interest to the groups.[9]

In addition to his liaison and political duties, Colson's responsibilities included performing special assignments for the president, such as drafting legal briefs on particular issues, reviewing presidential appointments, and suggesting names for White House guest lists. His work also included major lobbying efforts on such issues as construction of an antiballistic missile system, the president's Vietnamization program, and the administration's revenue-sharing proposal.[9]

"The 'Evil Genius' of an Evil Administration"[edit]

Slate magazine writer David Plotz described Colson as Nixon's "hard man, the 'evil genius' of an evil administration."[10] Colson has written that he was "valuable to the President... because I was willing... to be ruthless in getting things done".[11] Nixon's White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman described Colson as being the president's "hit man".[12][13]

Colson authored the 1971 memo listing Nixon's major political opponents, later known as Nixon's enemies list. A quip that "Colson would walk over his own grandmother if necessary" mutated into claims in news stories that Colson had boasted that he would run over his own grandmother to re-elect Nixon.[11] In a conversation on February 13, 1973, Colson told Nixon that he had always had "a little prejudice".[14][clarification needed]

New York City Hard Hat Riot[edit]

On May 4, 1970, four students were shot dead at Kent State University in Ohio while protesting the Vietnam War and the incursion into Cambodia.[15] As a show of sympathy for the dead students, Mayor John Lindsay ordered all flags at New York City Hall to be flown at half-mast that same day.

A transcription made of a White House tape recording dated May 5, 1971,[16][17] documents that the planning phase of the Hard Hat Riot took place in the White House Oval Office. Colson is heard successfully instigating several New York State AFL–CIO union leaders into organizing an attack against student protesters in New York. The officials armed about 200 construction workers in Lower Manhattan with lengths of steel re-bar which they, along with their hard hats, proceeded to use against about 1,000 high school and college students protesting the Vietnam War and the Kent State shootings. The initial attack was near the intersection of Wall Street and Broad Street, but the riot soon spread to New York City Hall and lasted a little longer than two hours. More than 70 people were injured, including four policemen. Six people were arrested.[10][18]

Two weeks after the Hard Hat Riot, Colson arranged a White House ceremony honoring the union leader most responsible for the attack, Peter J. Brennan, president of the Building and Construction Trades local for New York City. Brennan was later appointed U.S. Secretary of Labor and served under Presidents Nixon and Gerald Ford.[19]

Proposed firebombing of the Brookings Institution[edit]

Colson also proposed firebombing the Brookings Institution and stealing politically damaging documents while firefighters put out the fire.[20][21][22]

Attacking the young Vietnam veteran John Kerry[edit]

Colson's voice, from archives of April 1969, is heard in the 2004 movie Going Upriver deprecating the anti-war efforts of John Kerry. Colson's orders were to "destroy the young demagogue before he becomes another Ralph Nader."[23][24] In a phone conversation with Nixon on April 28, 1971, Colson said, "This fellow Kerry that they had on last week... He turns out to be really quite a phony."[23][24]

Watergate and Ellsberg scandals[edit]

Colson attended some meetings of the Committee for the Re-Election of the President (CRP). However, he and the White House Staff "had come to regard the Committee to Re-elect the President as a rival organization."[25] When Colson had taken charge of the Office of Communications, he was offered but rejected Jeb Magruder as a senior staffer, and Magruder was instead sent over to CRP, as

"At least he can't do any harm there" replied Colson. It was one of his less prescient judgements. Unknown to Colson and most other White House personnel, Magruder had been doing enormous harm by authorizing a series of James Bond-style clandestine operations against the Democrats.[26]

At a CRP meeting on March 21, 1971, it was agreed to spend US$250,000 on "intelligence gathering" on the Democratic Party.[27] Colson and John Ehrlichman had recruited E. Howard Hunt as a White House consultant for $100 per day ($752 in 2023 dollars).[28] Though Hunt never worked directly for Colson, he did several odd jobs for Colson's office prior to working for Egil "Bud" Krogh, head of the White House Special Operations Unit (the so-called "Plumbers"),[29] which had been organized to stop leaks in the Nixon administration. Hunt teamed with G. Gordon Liddy, and the two headed the Plumbers' attempted burglary of Pentagon Papers-leaker Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office in Los Angeles in September 1971. The Pentagon Papers were a collection of military documents comprising an exhaustive study of the United States' involvement in the Vietnam War. Their publication helped increase opposition to the war. Colson hoped that revelations about Ellsberg could be used to discredit the anti-Vietnam War cause. Colson admitted to leaking information from Ellsberg's confidential FBI file to the press, but denied organizing Hunt's burglary of Ellsberg's office.[11] In his 2005 book The Good Life,[30] Colson expressed regret for attempting to cover up the incident.

Although not discovered until several years after Nixon had resigned and Colson had finished serving his prison term, the transcript of a White House conversation between Nixon and Colson tape-recorded on June 20, 1972, has denials from both men of the White House's involvement in the break-in. Hunt had been off the payroll for three months. Colson asks "Do they think I'm that dumb?". Nixon comments that "we have got to have lawyers smart enough to have our people de-, delay (unintelligible) avoiding--depositions, of course, uh, are one possibility. We've got –I think it would be a quite the thing for the judge to call in Mitchell and have a deposition in the middle of the campaign, don't you?" to which Colson responds that he would welcome a deposition because "I'm not –, because nobody, everybody's completely out of it."[31]

On March 10, 1973, 17 months before Nixon's resignation, Colson resigned from the White House to return to the private practice of law, as Senior Partner at the law firm of Colson and Shapiro, Washington, D.C.[32] However, Colson was retained as a special consultant by Nixon for several more months.[33]


On March 1, 1974, Colson was indicted for conspiring to cover up the Watergate burglaries.[9]

Introduced to evangelical Christianity[edit]

As Colson was facing arrest, his close friend Thomas L. Phillips, chairman of the board of Raytheon Company, gave him a copy of Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis; after reading it, Colson became an evangelical Christian.

Colson then joined a prayer group led by Douglas Coe and including Democratic Senator Harold Hughes, Republican congressman Al Quie and Democratic congressman Graham B. Purcell, Jr. When news of the conversion emerged much later, several U.S. newspapers, as well as Newsweek, The Village Voice,[34] and Time ridiculed the conversion, claiming that it was a ploy to reduce his sentence.[35] In his 1975 memoir Born Again,[36] Colson noted that a few writers published sympathetic stories, as in the case of a widely reprinted UPI article, "From Watergate to Inner Peace."[37]

Pleads guilty, imprisoned[edit]

After taking the Fifth Amendment on the advice of his lawyers during early testimony, Colson found himself torn between his convictions as a Christian and his desire to avoid conviction on charges of which he believed himself innocent. After prayer and consultation with his fellowship group, Colson approached his lawyers and suggested a plea of guilty to a different criminal charge of which he did consider himself to be culpable.[38][39][40]

After days of negotiation with Watergate Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski and Watergate Trial Judge Gerhard Gesell, Colson pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice on the basis of having attempted to defame Ellsberg's character in the build-up to the trial in order to influence the jury against him. Journalist Carl Rowan commented in a column of June 10, 1974, that the guilty plea came "at a time when the judge was making noises about dismissing the charges against him", and speculated that Colson was preparing to reveal highly damaging information against Nixon,[41] an expectation shared by columnist Clark Mollenhoff; Mollenhoff even went so far as to suggest that for Colson not to become a "devastating witness" would cast doubt on the sincerity of his conversion.[42] On June 21, 1974, Colson was given a one-to- three-year sentence and fined $5,000.[9][43] He was subsequently disbarred in the District of Columbia, with the expectation of his also being prohibited from using his licenses from Virginia and Massachusetts.[44][45]

Colson served seven months in Maxwell Correctional Facility in Alabama,[46]—with brief stints at a facility on the Fort Holabird grounds when needed as a trial witness—[47][48] entering prison on July 9, 1974,[49] and being released early, on January 31, 1975, by the sentencing judge because of family problems.[48][50] At the time that Gesell ordered his release, Colson was one of the last of the Watergate defendants still in jail: only Gordon Liddy was still incarcerated. Egil Krogh had served his sentence and been released before Colson entered jail, while John Dean, Jeb Magruder, and Herb Kalmbach had been released earlier in January 1975 by Judge John Sirica.[48] Although Gesell declined to name the "family problems" prompting the release,[48] Colson wrote in his 1976 memoir that his son Chris, angry over his father's imprisonment and looking to replace his broken car, had bought $150 worth of marijuana in hopes of selling it at a profit, and had been arrested in South Carolina, where he was in college.[51] The state later dropped the charges.[45]

Interest in prison reform[edit]

Born Again, Colson's personal memoir reflecting on his religious conversion and prison term, was made into a 1978 dramatic film starring Dean Jones as Colson, Anne Francis as his wife Patty, and Harold Hughes as himself. Actor Kevin Dunn portrayed Colson in the 1995 movie Nixon.

While in prison, Colson had become increasingly aware of what he saw as injustices done to prisoners and incarcerates and shortcomings in their rehabilitation; he also had the opportunity, during a three-day furlough to attend his father's funeral, to pore over his father's papers and discover the two shared an interest in prison reform. He became convinced that he was being called by God to develop a ministry to prisoners with an emphasis in promoting changes in the justice system.

Career after prison[edit]

Prison ministry[edit]

After his release from prison, Colson founded Prison Fellowship in 1976, which today is "the nation's largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their families".[52][53] Colson worked to promote prisoner rehabilitation and reform of the prison system in the United States, citing his disdain for what he called the "lock 'em and leave 'em" warehousing approach to criminal justice. He helped to create prisons whose populations come from inmates who choose to participate in faith-based programs.

In 1979, Colson founded Prison Fellowship International to extend his prison outreach outside the United States. Now in 120 countries, Prison Fellowship International is the largest, most extensive association of national Christian ministries working within the criminal justice field, working to proclaim the Gospel worldwide and alleviate the suffering of prisoners and their families. In 1983, Prison Fellowship International received special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. During this time, Colson also founded Justice Fellowship, using his influence in conservative political circles to push for bipartisan, legislative reforms in the U.S. criminal justice system.[54]

On June 18, 2003, Colson was invited by President George W. Bush to the White House to present results of a scientific study on the faith-based initiative, InnerChange, at the Carol Vance Unit (originally named the Jester II Unit) prison facility of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Fort Bend County, Texas. Colson led a small group that included Byron Johnson of the University of Pennsylvania, who was the principal researcher of the InnerChange study, a few staff members of Prison Fellowship and three InnerChange graduates to the meeting. In the presentation, Johnson explained that 171 participants in the InnerChange program were compared to a matched group of 1,754 inmates from the prison's general population. The study found that only 8 percent of InnerChange graduates, as opposed to 20.3 percent of inmates in the matched comparison group, became offenders again in a two-year period. In other words, the recidivism rate was cut by almost two-thirds for those who complete the faith-based program. Those who are dismissed for disciplinary reasons or who drop out voluntarily, or those who are paroled before completion, have a comparable rate of rearrest and incarceration.[55][56] The commonly-reported results from the study have been strongly criticized for selecting only participants who were unlikely to be rearrested (especially those who were successfully placed in post-prison jobs), and when considering all of the InnerChange study participants, their recidivism rate (24.3%) was worse than the control group (20.3%).[57][58]

Christian advocacy[edit]

Colson maintained a variety of media channels which discuss contemporary issues from an evangelical Christian worldview. In his Christianity Today columns, for example, Colson opposed same-sex marriage,[59] and argued that Darwinism is used to attack Christianity.[60] He also argued against evolution and in favor of intelligent design,[61] asserting that Darwinism led to forced sterilizations by eugenicists.[62]

Colson was an outspoken critic of postmodernism, believing that as a cultural worldview, it is incompatible with the Christian tradition. He debated prominent post-evangelicals, such as Brian McLaren, on the best response for the evangelical church in dealing with the postmodern cultural shift. Colson, however, came alongside the creation care movement when endorsing Christian environmentalist author Nancy Sleeth's Go Green, Save Green: A Simple Guide to Saving Time, Money, and God's Green Earth. In the early 1980s, Colson was invited to New York by David Frost's variety program on NBC for an open debate with Madalyn Murray O'Hair, the atheist who, in 1963, brought the court case (Murray v. Curlett) that eliminated official public school prayers.[63]

Colson was a member of the Family (also known as the Fellowship), described by prominent evangelical Christians as one of the most politically well-connected fundamentalist organizations in the US.[64] On April 4, 1991, Colson was invited to deliver a speech as part of the Distinguished Lecturer series at Harvard Business School. The speech was titled The Problem of Ethics, where he argued that a society without a foundation of moral absolutes cannot long survive.[65]

Colson was later a principal signer of the 1994 Evangelicals and Catholics Together ecumenical document signed by leading Evangelical Protestants and Roman Catholic leaders in the United States, part of a larger ecumenical rapprochement in the United States that had begun in the 1970s with Catholic-Evangelical collaboration during the Gerald R. Ford Administration and in later para-church organizations such as Moral Majority founded by Rev. Jerry Falwell at the urging of Francis Schaeffer and his son Frank Schaeffer during the Jimmy Carter administration.[66]

In November 2009, Colson was a principal writer and driving force behind an ecumenical statement known as the Manhattan Declaration calling on evangelicals, Catholics and Orthodox Christians not to comply with rules and laws permitting abortion, same-sex marriage and other matters that go against their religious consciences.[67] He had previously ignited controversy within Protestant circles for his mid-90s common-ground initiative with conservative Roman Catholics Evangelicals and Catholics Together, which Colson wrote alongside prominent Roman Catholic Richard John Neuhaus. Colson was also a proponent of the Bible Literacy Project's curriculum The Bible and Its Influence for public high school literature courses.[68][non-primary source needed] Colson has said that Protestants have a special duty to prevent anti-Catholic bigotry.[69]

Political engagement[edit]

In 1988, Colson became involved with the Elizabeth Morgan case,[70] visiting Morgan in jail and lobbying to change federal law in order to free her.[71]

On October 3, 2002, Colson was one of the co-signers of the Land letter sent to President George W. Bush. The letter was written by Richard D. Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and co-signed by four prominent American evangelical Christian leaders with Colson among them. The letter outlined their theological support for a just war in the form of a pre-emptive invasion of Iraq.

On June 1, 2005, Colson appeared in the national news commenting on the revelation that W. Mark Felt was Deep Throat.[72] Colson expressed disapproval in Felt's role in the Watergate scandal, first in the context of Felt being an FBI employee who should have known better than to disclose the results of a government investigation to the press (violating a fundamental tenet of FBI culture), and second in the context of the trust placed in him (which demanded a more active response, such as a face-to-face confrontation with the FBI director or Nixon or, had that failed, public resignation). His criticism of Felt provoked a harsh response from Benjamin Bradlee, former executive editor of The Washington Post, one of only three individuals to know who Deep Throat was prior to the public disclosure, who said he was "baffled" that Colson and Liddy were "lecturing the world about public morality" considering their role in the Watergate scandal. Bradlee stated that "as far as I'm concerned they have no standing in the morality debate."[73]

Colson also supported the passage of Proposition 8. He signed his name to a full-page ad in the December 5, 2008 The New York Times that objected to violence and intimidation against religious institutions and believers in the wake of the passage of Proposition 8.[74] The ad said that "violence and intimidation are always wrong, whether the victims are believers, gay people, or anyone else."[75] A dozen other religious and human rights activists from several different faiths also signed the ad, noting that they "differ on important moral and legal questions", including Proposition 8.[75]

Awards and honors[edit]

Colson with President George W. Bush after receiving the Presidential Citizens Medal, December 20, 2008

From 1982 to 1995, Colson received honorary doctorates from various colleges and universities.[46]

In 1990, The Salvation Army recognized Colson with its highest civic award, the Others Award. Previous recipients of the award include Barbara Bush, Paul Harvey, US Senator Bob Dole, and the Meadows Foundation.[76]

In 1993, Colson was awarded the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, the world's largest cash gift (over $1 million), which is given each year to the one person in the world who has done the most to advance the cause of religion.[77] He donated the prize, as he did all speaking fees and royalties, to further the work of Prison Fellowship.[citation needed]

In 1994, Colson was quoted in contemporary Christian music artist Steven Curtis Chapman's song "Heaven in the Real World" as saying:

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.

In 1999, Colson co-authored How Now Shall We Live? with Nancy Pearcey and published by Tyndale House. The book was winner of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association 2000 Gold Medallion Book Award in the "Christianity and Society" category.[78] Colson had previously won the 1993 Gold Medallion award in the "Theology/Doctrine" category for The Body co-authored with Ellen Santilli Vaughn, published by Word, Inc.[79]

On February 9, 2001, the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) presented Colson with the Mark O. Hatfield Leadership Award at the Forum on Christian Higher Education in Orlando, Florida. The award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated uncommon leadership that reflects the values of Christian higher education. The award was established in 1997 in honor of US Senator Mark Hatfield, a long-time supporter of the council.[80]

In 2008, Colson was presented with the Presidential Citizens Medal by President George W. Bush.

Later years[edit]

In 2000, Florida Governor Jeb Bush reinstated the rights which were taken away by Colson's felony conviction, including the right to vote.[81]

On March 31, 2012, Colson underwent surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain after he fell ill while speaking at a Christian worldview conference.[82] CBN erroneously reported on April 18, 2012, that he died with his family at his side[83] but Prison Fellowship later (12:30 am on April 19 and again at 7:02 am) pointed out that he was still alive as of that moment.[84][85]


On April 21, 2012, Colson died in the hospital "from complications resulting from a brain hemorrhage".[86][87][88][89][90]


Colson had a long list of publications and collaborations, including over 30 books which have sold more than 5 million copies.[91] He also wrote forewords for several other books.

Year Title Publisher ISBN
1976 Born Again Chosen Books ISBN 978-0-8007-9459-0
1979 Life Sentence Chosen Books ISBN 0-8007-8668-8
1983 Loving God[92] HarperPaperbacks ISBN 0-310-47030-7
1987 Kingdoms in Conflict[93]
(with Ellen Santilli Vaughn)
William Morrow & Co ISBN 0-688-07349-2
1989 Against the Night: Living in the New Dark Ages[94]
(with Ellen Santilli Vaughn)
Servant Publications ISBN 0-89283-309-2
1990 The God of Stones and Spiders Crossway Books ISBN 978-0891075714
1991 Why America Doesn't Work[95]
(with Jack Eckerd)
Word Publishing ISBN 0-8499-0873-6
1993 The Body: Being Light in Darkness[96]
(with Ellen Santilli Vaughn)
Word Books ISBN 0-85009-603-0
1993 A Dance with Deception: Revealing the truth behind the headlines[97] Word Publishing ISBN 0-8499-1057-9
1995 Evangelicals and Catholics Together: Toward a Common Mission
(co-edited with Richard John Neuhaus)
Thomas Nelson ISBN 0-8499-3860-0
1995 Gideon's Torch Word Publishing ISBN 0-8499-1146-X
1996 Being The Body[98]
(with Ellen Santilli Vaughn)
Thomas Nelson ISBN 0-8499-1752-2
1997 Loving God Zondervan ISBN 0-310-21914-0
1998 Burden of Truth: Defending the Truth in an Age of Unbelief Tyndale House ISBN 0-8423-3475-0
1999 How Now Shall We Live[99]
(with Nancy Pearcey and Harold Fickett)
Tyndale House ISBN 0-8423-1808-9
2001 Justice That Restores Tyndale House ISBN 0-8423-5245-7
2004 The Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions
About Intelligent Design
(with William A. Dembski)
Inter Varsity Press ISBN 0-8308-2375-1
2005 The Good Life
(with Harold Fickett)
Tyndale House ISBN 0-8423-7749-2
2007 God and Government Zondervan ISBN 978-0-310-27764-4
2008 The Faith
(with Harold Fickett)
Zondervan ISBN 978-0-310-27603-6
2011 The Sky Is Not Falling: Living Fearlessly in These Turbulent Times[100] Worthy Publishing ISBN 978-1-936034-54-3

(Some of these ISBNs are for recent editions of the older books.)


(This is not a complete list.)

Year Title Publisher ISBN
2006 Wide Angle Purpose Driven Publishing ISBN 978-1-4228-0083-6
2011 Doing the Right Thing DVD Zondervan ISBN 978-0-310-42775-9
2011 Doing the Right Thing Participant's Guide Zondervan ISBN 978-0-310-42776-6


  1. ^ A Gallery of the Guilty. Time. January 13, 1975.
  2. ^ "About Chuck Colson". Archived from the original on November 1, 2009. Retrieved November 25, 2009.
  3. ^ "Chuck Colson Bio". Archived from the original on February 3, 2012. Retrieved April 18, 2012.
  4. ^ "The Chuck Colson Center". Archived from the original on April 18, 2012. Retrieved April 18, 2012.
  5. ^ "Colson Center Fact Sheet". Archived from the original on April 26, 2012. Retrieved April 18, 2012.
  6. ^ The Encyclopedia of Christian Literature. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press. 2010. p. 261. ISBN 978-0-8108-6987-5.
  7. ^ Aitken, Jonathan (2006). Charles Colson: A Life Redeemed. London: Continuum. p. 20. ISBN 0-8264-8030-6.
  8. ^ Colson, Charles W.; Harold Fickett (2005). The Good Life. Tyndale House. pp. 9, 83. ISBN 0-8423-7749-2.
  9. ^ a b c d e f Special Files: Charles W. Colson Archived May 27, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, United States National Archives and Records Administration
  10. ^ a b David Plotz (March 10, 2000). "Charles Colson – How a Watergate crook became America's greatest Christian conservative". Slate.
  11. ^ a b c Colson, Charles W. (1975). Born Again. Chosen. ISBN 0-8007-9377-3. Chapter 5.
  12. ^ H. R. Haldeman. The Ends of Power, (New York: Dell), p. 5. ISBN 0440122392
  13. ^ "Charles Colson".
  14. ^ Nagourney, Adam (December 10, 2010) "In Tapes, Nixon Rails About Jews and Blacks". The New York Times.
  15. ^ Kifner, "4 Kent State Students Killed by Troops," The New York Times, May 5, 1970.
  16. ^ "Tape: Nixon Wanted Thugs to Assault Demonstrators".[permanent dead link] The Palm Beach Post. September 24, 1981.
  17. ^ "Tape Reveals Nixon Backed Thugs Plan". Glasgow Herald. September 25, 1981
  18. ^ Republican Gomorrah: Inside The Movement That Shattered The Party. pp. 59–60. Max Blumenthal.
  19. ^ Republican Gomorrah: Inside The Movement That Shattered The Party. p. 60. Max Blumenthal.
  20. ^ Mehren, Elizabeth (February 18, 2003). "Insanity in Nixon's White House". Los Angeles Times. (Text available here.)
  21. ^ Dean, John (1976). Blind Ambition. Pocket Books. pp. 35–39. ISBN 0-671-81248-3.
  22. ^ Watergate, by Fred Emery. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995, ISBN 0-684-81323-8, pp. 47–48. References Nixon's memoirs regarding firebombing.
  23. ^ a b With antiwar role, high visibility, Boston Globe, June 17, 2003
  24. ^ a b Nixon targeted Kerry for anti-war views, Brian Williams, NBC News, March 16, 2004
  25. ^ Aitken, 2005, p. 166
  26. ^ Aitken, 2005, p. 178
  27. ^ Rosen, John (June 2008). "The Strong Man – John Mitchell and the Secrets of Watergate". The Washington Post.
  28. ^ Aitken, 2005, p. 155
  29. ^ Aitken, 2005, p. 156
  30. ^ Colson, Charles W.; Harold Fickett (2005). The Good Life. Tyndale House. pp. 19, 20. ISBN 0-8423-7749-2.
  31. ^ "'Transcript of a Meeting Between the President and Charles Colson' June 20, 1972 White House conversation of Richard Nixon and Charles Colson, p. 15" (PDF). Watergate Special Prosecution Force Transcripts. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 22, 2015. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  32. ^ Papers of Charles Wendell Colson – Collection 275 Archived April 23, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, Archives, Billy Graham Center, December 8, 2004.
  33. ^ Watergate, by Fred Emery, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1995, ISBN 0-684-81323-8
  34. ^ William Buckley. "Colson Christianity skepticism unfounded," originally in Washington Star and reprinted in The Dallas Morning News, June 28, 1974, p. 21A.
  35. ^ "The Man Who Converted to Softball". Time. June 17, 1974. Archived from the original on January 5, 2013.
  36. ^ Colson, Charles W. Born Again. Chosen Books, 1975
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