Chuck Colson, Watergate figure and Christian ministry founder, reportedly near death

Chuck Colson, an aide to President Richard Nixon who was convicted in the Watergate scandal, is near death after having surgery more than two weeks ago, according to a statement from the Christian ministry he founded.

Colson, 80, underwent the surgery to remove a blood clot on his brain.

"While we had seen some hopeful signs for Chuck's recovery—including his ability to talk happily with Patty and the kids—it seems that God may be calling him home," Jim Liske, CEO of Prison Fellowship Ministries, said in a statement issued Wednesday.

Colson went to jail for his role in the Watergate scandal, which forced Nixon to resign from office in 1974.

A mid-life convert to Christianity, he founded Prison Fellowship in 1976, the group's website says.

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