Victoria Osteen speaking at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas in 2014
March 28, 1961
|Known for||Spouse to Joel Osteen|
Victoria Osteen was born Victoria Iloff in Huntsville, Alabama. She lived near Marshall Space Flight Center where her father, Donald Iloff – a mathematician with General Electric – was a member of GE’s Saturn rocket project team led by German rocket scientist Wernher von Braun. In 1963, at the age of two, Osteen moved with her family to Houston, Texas when her father took a position with the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA). She grew up in a southern suburb of Houston, near the Manned Spacecraft Center (now known as the Johnson Space Center).
Growing up, Osteen attended the Church of Christ, a relatively conservative Protestant church, where her mother, Georgine Iloff, taught Sunday school and her father served as a deacon. Osteen attended (though did not graduate from) the University of Houston where she studied psychology while working in her mother’s jewelry business. It was while working in the jewelry store that she met Joel Osteen in 1985 when he came in to buy a new watch battery.
Osteen founded the Lakewood Church Women’s Ministry in 2003, where she currently serves as co-pastor. Her part of the service is not broadcast throughout most of the world; however, she can be seen on a one-hour program broadcast on the Daystar Television Network and through a live internet feed.
Osteen’s first book, entitled Love Your Life: Living Happy, Healthy, and Whole was published by Simon & Schuster and released for sale on October 14, 2008. It debuted at number 2 on the New York Times Bestsellers list. At 750,000 copies, the initial first printing of Love Your Life was one of the largest by any publisher in 2008.
In January 2009, Osteen released children’s books published by Simon & Schuster's Little Simon imprint. Her five-year agreement with Simon & Schuster allows her to publish 13 children’s works in all, including a Bible for children.
Sharon Brown, a Continental Airlines flight attendant, accused Victoria Osteen of assault before a December 19, 2005 flight from Houston, Texas to Vail, Colorado. The Osteen family was escorted off the flight, and the FAA fined Victoria Osteen $3,000 for “interfering with a crew member," which Osteen paid uncontested in order to put the incident behind her. The flight attendant subsequently filed a civil suit against Osteen, seeking an apology plus $405,000 in damages. A Houston jury sided with Osteen, clearing her of civil liability on August 13, 2008.
- H magazine article Archived October 8, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- "Love Your Life: Living Happy, Healthy, and Whole". Simon Says. October 11, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
- "Osteen family leaves plane after dispute - FBI agent says the pastor's wife didn't follow a flight attendant's instructions". The Houston Chronicle. December 21, 2005. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
- "Passengers Back Osteen, Say They Saw No Assault". USA Today. August 13, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
- "Osteen's Wife Cleared in Assualt (sic) Suit - Jury Calls Lawsuit Accusing Osteen of Assualt (sic) 'A Waste of Time'". ABC News. August 15, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-11.