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Oral Roberts dies at 91; televangelist was pioneering preacher of the 'prosperity gospel'

Oral Roberts, a dirt-poor Oklahoma farm boy who popularized the idea of a "prosperity gospel" while becoming one of the world's most recognizable televangelists, died Tuesday. He was 91. Roberts, founder of the university in Tulsa, Okla., that is named after him, died from complications of pneumonia at a Newport Beach hospital, family spokeswoman Melany Ethridge said. He had suffered a fall over the weekend. Roberts pioneered the use of television and computerized databases to spread the Gospel and raise hundreds of millions of dollars -- a formula followed today by numerous other ministries. Using sophisticated and relentless direct-mail campaigns, Roberts asserted that...

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