• Kharissa Forte

Evangelist Billy Graham dies at 99

photo credit: The Atlantic

Billy Graham was an ordained Southern Baptist minister at just 21-years-old. He has often been referred to as the most influential pastor of our time. Well known for his ability to use biblical principles as a guiding light on secular issues, he served as a spiritual counsel for several presidents including Harry Truman and Barack Obama. Graham was also friends with Queen Elizabeth, II which is portrayed on season two, episode six of Take the Crown on Netflix.

Graham's career spanned over six decades as he hosted revivals and crusades dating back to the 1950's. During that time, he insisted his events were racially integrated. A true believer in equality and civil rights, he had Martin Luther King, Jr. preach at his events.

His live sermons are said to have reached around 215 million people in over 185 countries. His radio and television broadcasts are reported to have reached at least 2.2 billion as of 2008. According to Gallup's Most Admired Man and Woman list, Graham appeared a record 60 times.

He was married to his wife Ruth until her death in 2007. She was 87-years-old. Together, they had five children.

Graham died in his North Carolina home at the age of 99.

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