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Evangelist Oral Roberts, Dead At 91

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Evangelist Oral Roberts, who became one of America's most successful and controversial television preacher with claims of faith healing and unusual money-raising tactics, died on Tuesday at the age of 91.

Oral Roberts Ministries published a tribute to Roberts on its website and news reports said that he died in Newport Beach, California, of complications from pneumonia.

Roberts, a preacher's son, started out putting on charismatic revival meetings in tents. He later took his ministry to radio and then to television, a path taken by other fiery evangelists such as Pat Robertson and Billy Graham.

He based his organization in Tulsa, Oklahoma, centered around Oral Roberts University, which he said he founded in 1963 on a command from God.

Hailing from Oklahoma, Roberts had Native American roots through his mother's side of the family, a heritage he took pride in.

Educated at Oklahoma Baptist and Phillips University, Roberts quit his pastorate at a Pentecostal church in 1947 to pursue a more fervent evangelical ministry.