His conversion while in prison for a Watergate-related offense was viewed with great skepticism in some circles but Charles Colson kept up a prison ministry for 35 years afterward. Colson died yesterday at age 80.

Colson, with his trademark horn-rimmed glasses, was known as the “evil genius” of the Nixon administration who once said he’d walk over his grandmother to get the president elected to a second term.

 

The Washington Post described him in 1972 as “one of the most powerful presidential aides, variously described as a troubleshooter and as a ‘master of dirty tricks.’”

House Speaker John Boehner says Colson “lived an extraordinary life” and “went on to spark a movement of ideas and people focused on spiritual transformation.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says Colson’s life was a reminder of “the seductions of power and the rewards of service.”

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