Evangelist Billy Graham is dead at age 99

Yahoo News Photo Staff

Billy Graham, was born William Franklin Graham, Jr., in Charlotte, N.C., on Nov. 7, 1918.

Billy Graham was ordained in the Southern Baptist Convention, an American Christian denomination. Graham became known nationally in 1949, thanks to the support of major media conglomerates at the time.

Graham was a religious adviser to many U.S. presidents, most notably Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard M. Nixon. He was married to Ruth Graham for 64 years until her death in 2007.

The Grahams had five children, Franklin, Nelson, Virginia, Anne and Ruth. Billy Graham was known for his Billy Graham Crusades, speaking tours he held around the world. His sermons were broadcast across media platforms, including radio and television. In 1950, he created the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, from which he retired in 2005.

His son Franklin Graham became the head and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, or BGEA, in 2002. (AP)

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<p>Evangelist Billy Graham speaks at Madison Square Garden in New York, June 13, 1969, to a large crowd on the first night of a 10-day crusade. (Photo: AP) </p>
Message in the Garden

Evangelist Billy Graham speaks at Madison Square Garden in New York, June 13, 1969, to a large crowd on the first night of a 10-day crusade. (Photo: AP)

<p>William “Billy” Graham at age 17, at his graduation from Charlotte High School in June 1935. He had already embraced religion at a local revival meeting and decided that he would focus on the pulpit rather than the baseball diamond. (Photo: AP) </p>
High school graduation

William “Billy” Graham at age 17, at his graduation from Charlotte High School in June 1935. He had already embraced religion at a local revival meeting and decided that he would focus on the pulpit rather than the baseball diamond. (Photo: AP)

<p>The Rev. Billy Graham, crusading Evangelist, ended a tour of New England with a mass rally on historic Boston Common on April 23, 1950. Despite the cold weather, police estimated that 50,000 people attended the event. (Photo: AP) </p>
New England tour

The Rev. Billy Graham, crusading Evangelist, ended a tour of New England with a mass rally on historic Boston Common on April 23, 1950. Despite the cold weather, police estimated that 50,000 people attended the event. (Photo: AP)

<p>Evangelist Billy Graham speaks on March 29, 1950, in Portland, Maine. (Photo: AP) </p>
Preaching the gospel in Maine

Evangelist Billy Graham speaks on March 29, 1950, in Portland, Maine. (Photo: AP)

<p>Billy Graham, second from left, visits service personnel at the 21st Evacuation Hospital in Pusan, Korea, on Dec. 21, 1952, during a tour of U.N. bases in the Far East. (Photo: AP) </p>
Meeting service personnel in Korea

Billy Graham, second from left, visits service personnel at the 21st Evacuation Hospital in Pusan, Korea, on Dec. 21, 1952, during a tour of U.N. bases in the Far East. (Photo: AP)

<p>Airman second class Billy Sisk, of Shelby, N.C., photographs Billy Graham during the evangelist’s visit to the U.S third air force base at Weathersfield, near Braintree, Essex, in the United Kingdom, on April 26, 1954. (Photo: AP) </p>
Weathersfield Air Force Base photo shoot

Airman second class Billy Sisk, of Shelby, N.C., photographs Billy Graham during the evangelist’s visit to the U.S third air force base at Weathersfield, near Braintree, Essex, in the United Kingdom, on April 26, 1954. (Photo: AP)

<p>Billy Graham poses with his his wife, Ruth, and their three daughters on the Queen Mary after arriving in New York, July 7, 1954. (Photo: AP) </p>
Aboard the Queen Mary

Billy Graham poses with his his wife, Ruth, and their three daughters on the Queen Mary after arriving in New York, July 7, 1954. (Photo: AP)

<p>Billy Graham rests in bed at Düsseldorf, Germany, June 25, 1954, after being stricken by a sudden kidney ailment. He was able to travel to Berlin on June 26 to address 140,000 West Berliners on June 27. (Photo: AP) </p>
Reading the good book in hospital

Billy Graham rests in bed at Düsseldorf, Germany, June 25, 1954, after being stricken by a sudden kidney ailment. He was able to travel to Berlin on June 26 to address 140,000 West Berliners on June 27. (Photo: AP)

<p>Billy Graham speaks to over 100,000 Berliners at the Olympic Stadium in Germany, June 27, 1954. (Photo: AP) </p>
Olympic Stadium in Berlin

Billy Graham speaks to over 100,000 Berliners at the Olympic Stadium in Germany, June 27, 1954. (Photo: AP)

<p>Billy Graham addresses Madison Square Garden in New York on May 15, 1957, to open his crusade for “A Spiritual Revolution in the City.” (Photo: AP) </p>
A spiritual revolution in the city

Billy Graham addresses Madison Square Garden in New York on May 15, 1957, to open his crusade for “A Spiritual Revolution in the City.” (Photo: AP)

<p>Evangelist Billy Graham talks with U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower at the White House in May 1957. (Photo: AP) </p>
Ike and Graham

Evangelist Billy Graham talks with U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower at the White House in May 1957. (Photo: AP)

<p>Evangelist Billy Graham enjoys an ice cream soda with a group of teenagers after discussing the problem of juvenile crime with a group of youngsters at a New York City news conference on Aug. 8, 1957. At the Hotel New Yorker, Graham proposed that passages from the Bible be read “in every classroom in New York City” as a way of combating teenage crime. (Photo: AP) </p>
Ice cream soda with youth

Evangelist Billy Graham enjoys an ice cream soda with a group of teenagers after discussing the problem of juvenile crime with a group of youngsters at a New York City news conference on Aug. 8, 1957. At the Hotel New Yorker, Graham proposed that passages from the Bible be read “in every classroom in New York City” as a way of combating teenage crime. (Photo: AP)

<p>Billy Graham meditates in the chapel in the New York Hotel for Guidance on Oct. 25, 1957. (Photo: AP) </p>
Meditation in New York

Billy Graham meditates in the chapel in the New York Hotel for Guidance on Oct. 25, 1957. (Photo: AP)

<p>Rev. Billy Graham says goodbye to his wife, Ruth, and their five children on Jan. 15, 1958, before leaving on a crusade in eight Latin American countries. (Photo: AP) </p>
Family gathering

Rev. Billy Graham says goodbye to his wife, Ruth, and their five children on Jan. 15, 1958, before leaving on a crusade in eight Latin American countries. (Photo: AP)

<p>Billy Graham addresses a press conference at Minneapolis Airport on Jan. 12, 1959, on his arrival from Dallas, Texas. He was en route to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., for treatment of an eye ailment. (Photo: AP) </p>
Press conference in Minneapolis

Billy Graham addresses a press conference at Minneapolis Airport on Jan. 12, 1959, on his arrival from Dallas, Texas. He was en route to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., for treatment of an eye ailment. (Photo: AP)

<p>Billy Graham meets children at Virginia Village, 20 miles from Monrovia, Liberia, in 1960. (Photo: AP) </p>
Journey to Africa

Billy Graham meets children at Virginia Village, 20 miles from Monrovia, Liberia, in 1960. (Photo: AP)

<p>A camel salutes Billy Graham during a visit to the Egyptian pyramids and to the Sphinx on March 14, 1960. (Photo: AP) </p>
Camel kiss

A camel salutes Billy Graham during a visit to the Egyptian pyramids and to the Sphinx on March 14, 1960. (Photo: AP)

<p>Billy Graham stands by the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, on March 17, 1960, after an 18,000-mile preaching tour in Africa and the Middle East. (Photo: Leila Wynn/AP) </p>
Touching the Wailing Wall

Billy Graham stands by the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, on March 17, 1960, after an 18,000-mile preaching tour in Africa and the Middle East. (Photo: Leila Wynn/AP)

<p>Vice President Richard Nixon pours coffee for Billy Graham in Nixon’s private office in Washington, D.C., on March 31, 1960. (Photo: AP) </p>
Lunch with Nixon

Vice President Richard Nixon pours coffee for Billy Graham in Nixon’s private office in Washington, D.C., on March 31, 1960. (Photo: AP)

<p>President John F. Kennedy and others at the head table bow their heads during the invocation at the annual “Presidential prayer breakfast” in a Washington hotel, Feb. 9, 1961. From left: Billy Graham, Kennedy; Sen. Frank Carlson, R-Kan., and Judge Boyd Leedom of Washington, president of the International Christian Leadership Conference, the sponsoring organization. (Photo: Henry Burroughs/AP) </p>
Presidential prayer breakfast with Kennedy

President John F. Kennedy and others at the head table bow their heads during the invocation at the annual “Presidential prayer breakfast” in a Washington hotel, Feb. 9, 1961. From left: Billy Graham, Kennedy; Sen. Frank Carlson, R-Kan., and Judge Boyd Leedom of Washington, president of the International Christian Leadership Conference, the sponsoring organization. (Photo: Henry Burroughs/AP)

<p>Billy Graham and his wife pose with the first family after services at the National City Christian Church, Aug. 21, 1964. From left: Ruth Bell Graham, Lady Bird Johnson, Graham, President Lyndon Johnson, and his daughters Luci and Lynda Johnson. The evangelist was the guest pastor of the church at morning services. (Photo: John Rous/AP) </p>
Graham with the first family

Billy Graham and his wife pose with the first family after services at the National City Christian Church, Aug. 21, 1964. From left: Ruth Bell Graham, Lady Bird Johnson, Graham, President Lyndon Johnson, and his daughters Luci and Lynda Johnson. The evangelist was the guest pastor of the church at morning services. (Photo: John Rous/AP)

<p>American servicemen in Vietnam greet evangelist Billy Graham during his Christmas visit with troops, Dec. 21, 1966. (Photo: AP) </p>
Vietnam Christmas visit

American servicemen in Vietnam greet evangelist Billy Graham during his Christmas visit with troops, Dec. 21, 1966. (Photo: AP)

<p>Billy Graham, right, talks to Kenneth Harris at A.T.V. studios at Elstree, near London, May 26, 1966, while recording an interview for the program “About Religion.” (Photo: AP) </p>
“About Religion” interview

Billy Graham, right, talks to Kenneth Harris at A.T.V. studios at Elstree, near London, May 26, 1966, while recording an interview for the program “About Religion.” (Photo: AP)

<p>President Lyndon B. Johnson with an old friend, evangelist Billy Graham, at the White House in Washington, D.C., on June 14, 1967. (Photo: Henry Burroughs/AP) </p>
White House visit with LBJ

President Lyndon B. Johnson with an old friend, evangelist Billy Graham, at the White House in Washington, D.C., on June 14, 1967. (Photo: Henry Burroughs/AP)

<p>Evangelist Billy Graham visits a Viet Cong prisoner-of-war in traction and being treated for battle wounds at the U.S. Third Field Hospital in Saigon on Dec. 21, 1966. Graham had shortly before addressed a large gathering at Saigon’€s U.S.™ Airbase. (Photo: Henry Huet/AP) </p>
Saigon visit with the wounded

Evangelist Billy Graham visits a Viet Cong prisoner-of-war in traction and being treated for battle wounds at the U.S. Third Field Hospital in Saigon on Dec. 21, 1966. Graham had shortly before addressed a large gathering at Saigon’€s U.S.™ Airbase. (Photo: Henry Huet/AP)

<p>Billy Graham addresses a crowd of more than 5,000 U.S. troops at Long Binh, Vietnam, Dec. 23, 1966. (Photo: AP) </p>
Vietnam crusade

Billy Graham addresses a crowd of more than 5,000 U.S. troops at Long Binh, Vietnam, Dec. 23, 1966. (Photo: AP)

<p>Billy Graham addresses a prayer meeting in June 1967. (Photo: AP) </p>
Prayer meeting

Billy Graham addresses a prayer meeting in June 1967. (Photo: AP)

<p>The Rev. Billy Graham (center) is greeted on the podium of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago on Aug. 27, 1968. (Photo: AP) </p>
1968 DNC

The Rev. Billy Graham (center) is greeted on the podium of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago on Aug. 27, 1968. (Photo: AP)

<p>Billy Graham preaches a sermon in Dortmund’€™s Westfalen-Halle on April 5, 1970, at the start of an eight-day crusade broadcast throughout Europe via closed television circuit, in 35 cities and 10 countries. (Photo: Hinniger/AP) </p>
Eight-day crusade in Europe

Billy Graham preaches a sermon in Dortmund’€™s Westfalen-Halle on April 5, 1970, at the start of an eight-day crusade broadcast throughout Europe via closed television circuit, in 35 cities and 10 countries. (Photo: Hinniger/AP)

<p>Comedian Bob Hope, left, watches Billy Graham line up a putt during the Pro-Am play of the Byron Nelson Golf Classic in Dallas, May 6, 1971. (Photo: AP) </p>
Golfing with Bob Hope

Comedian Bob Hope, left, watches Billy Graham line up a putt during the Pro-Am play of the Byron Nelson Golf Classic in Dallas, May 6, 1971. (Photo: AP)

<p>Billy Graham addresses 18,000 messengers in Dallas, June 13, 1974, on the closing night of the Southern Baptist Convention. The theme of the convention was “Share His Love Now,” and he asked the messengers to become “firebrands” for Christ, offering the gospel of Christ as the hope for the world. (Photo: AP) </p>
“Share His Love Now” gospel

Billy Graham addresses 18,000 messengers in Dallas, June 13, 1974, on the closing night of the Southern Baptist Convention. The theme of the convention was “Share His Love Now,” and he asked the messengers to become “firebrands” for Christ, offering the gospel of Christ as the hope for the world. (Photo: AP)

<p>Billy Graham in Tokyo on a six-city tour of Japan in which he delivered the Christian message. He spoke to a capacity crowd of 43,000 at Korakuen Stadium in October 1980. (Photo: AP) </p>
Evangelistic tour of Japan

Billy Graham in Tokyo on a six-city tour of Japan in which he delivered the Christian message. He spoke to a capacity crowd of 43,000 at Korakuen Stadium in October 1980. (Photo: AP)

<p>The Rev. Billy Graham, center, talks with President Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan at the White House on July 18, 1981. (Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP) </p>
White House visit with the Reagans

The Rev. Billy Graham, center, talks with President Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan at the White House on July 18, 1981. (Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

<p>The Rev. Billy Graham holds a press conference on May 19, 1982, in New York. (Photo: Dave Pickoff/AP) </p>
Meeting the press in New York

The Rev. Billy Graham holds a press conference on May 19, 1982, in New York. (Photo: Dave Pickoff/AP)

<p>Billy Graham addresses an audience of friends and well-wishers after ceremonies in Los Angeles on Nov. 7, 1983. A plaque was unveiled commemorating the site of the 1949 tent revival meetings that propelled his career. The event, held in accordance with Billy Graham Day, was Graham’€™s 65th birthday. (Photo: Reed Saxon/AP) </p>
Billy Graham Day

Billy Graham addresses an audience of friends and well-wishers after ceremonies in Los Angeles on Nov. 7, 1983. A plaque was unveiled commemorating the site of the 1949 tent revival meetings that propelled his career. The event, held in accordance with Billy Graham Day, was Graham’€™s 65th birthday. (Photo: Reed Saxon/AP)

<p>Rev. Billy Graham is shown preaching to 24,000 people in Tacoma’€™s New Dome Stadium, May 16, 1983, in Tacoma, Wash. (Photo: Dave Ekren/AP) </p>
Preaching in Tacoma

Rev. Billy Graham is shown preaching to 24,000 people in Tacoma’€™s New Dome Stadium, May 16, 1983, in Tacoma, Wash. (Photo: Dave Ekren/AP)

<p>Billy Graham poses in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on March 8, 1990, as a prelude to for a rally by the Berlin Wall in front of the Reichstag. (Photo: Mathias Krause/AP) </p>
Brandenburg Gate

Billy Graham poses in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on March 8, 1990, as a prelude to for a rally by the Berlin Wall in front of the Reichstag. (Photo: Mathias Krause/AP)

<p>Former presidents including, from left, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, second left, and Jimmy Carter, right, join Franklin Graham, second right, as they pose with Billy Graham, center, in front of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C., on May 31, 2007 during the dedication ceremony. The 40,000-square-foot complex, built near the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, traces the preacher’s rise from farm boy to the most widely heard minister of all time, having preached the Gospel in person to more than 210 million people over his long career. (Photo: Chuck Burton/AP) </p>
Former presidents honor Billy Graham Library

Former presidents including, from left, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, second left, and Jimmy Carter, right, join Franklin Graham, second right, as they pose with Billy Graham, center, in front of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C., on May 31, 2007 during the dedication ceremony. The 40,000-square-foot complex, built near the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, traces the preacher’s rise from farm boy to the most widely heard minister of all time, having preached the Gospel in person to more than 210 million people over his long career. (Photo: Chuck Burton/AP)

<p>Billy Graham addresses the Mission Metroplex at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas, on Oct. 17, 2002. (Photo: LM Otero/AP) </p>
Texas mission

Billy Graham addresses the Mission Metroplex at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas, on Oct. 17, 2002. (Photo: LM Otero/AP)

<p>Former president Bill Clinton, left, speaks alongside the Rev. Billy Graham on the second night of the Greater New York Billy Graham Crusade, June 25, 2005, at Flushing Meadows’ Corona Park in the New York borough of Queens. (Photo: Frank Franklin II/AP) </p>
Billy Graham Crusade with Bill Clinton

Former president Bill Clinton, left, speaks alongside the Rev. Billy Graham on the second night of the Greater New York Billy Graham Crusade, June 25, 2005, at Flushing Meadows’ Corona Park in the New York borough of Queens. (Photo: Frank Franklin II/AP)

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