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'America's Pastor' Billy Graham dies aged 99 after a lifetime serving as a spiritual leader to millions and as White House adviser who has prayed with every U.S. President since Harry Truman

'America's Pastor' Billy Graham dies aged 99

  • Billy Graham passed away at the age of 99 on Wednesday of natural causes at his home in North Carolina 
  • He  preached to over 200 million people in his lifetime and prayed with every single president since Harry Truman
  • Graham's wife Ruth died in 2007 and he is survived by his five children, 19 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren
  • He was a close friend and ally to Dr. Martin Luther King, who credited him with some of the success of the Civil Rights Movement 
  • 'The GREAT Billy Graham is dead. There was nobody like him! He will be missed by Christians and all religions. A very special man,' wrote President Trump 

Famed evangelist Billy Graham has passed away.

A spokesperson announced on Wednesday that the man known as 'America's Pastor' had lost his life at the age of 99 after a lifetime devoted to his faith.

Graham, who passed away of natural causes at his North Carolina home, served as a spiritual leader to hundreds of millions of Americans as well as multiple presidents.

He is survived by his five children with wife Ruth Bell, who passed away in 2007, and 19 grandchildren.

'The GREAT Billy Graham is dead. There was nobody like him! He will be missed by Christians and all religions. A very special man,' wrote President Trump. 

Gone: Billy Graham (above in 2005 at his final crusade in NYC) passed away at his home in North Carolina on Wednesday at the age of 99

Gone: Billy Graham (above in 2005 at his final crusade in NYC) passed away at his home in North Carolina on Wednesday at the age of 99

Man of faith: He was a spiritual advisor to multiple presidents, including John F Kennedy(pair above in 1962)

Man of faith: He was a spiritual advisor to multiple presidents, including John F Kennedy(pair above in 1962)

Ally: He was a close friend to Dr. Martin Luther King, who credited him with some of the success of the Civil Rights Movement (pair above in 1957)

Ally: He was a close friend to Dr. Martin Luther King, who credited him with some of the success of the Civil Rights Movement (pair above in 1957)

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Billy Graham, famous pastor and advisor to presidents, dies at 99

Graham was a confidant to President Dwight Eisenhower and President George W. Bush, as well as many of the men that served in between those two leaders.

President Reagan gave Graham the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1983, and when the Billy Graham Museum and Library was dedicated back in 2007, George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were among those in attendance.

'When he prays with you in the Oval Office or upstairs in the White House, you feel he's praying for you, not the president, said Clinton in his speech that day.

Graham also traveled extensively, giving leadership summits and preaching over 185 countries while also becoming the first spiritual leader to take advantage of telecasts, reaching millions through television and radio appearances.

In the end, he preached to over 200 million people over the course of his lifetime, and at one point prayed with every single president since Harry Truman. 

He was close with Dr. Martin Luther King as well, who credited Graham with the playing a huge role in the success of the civil rights movement.

Graham refused to segregate his audiences starting in 1953, and would later decline invitations to hold one of his famed crusades in South Africa during apartheid. 

'Had it not been for the ministry of my good friend Dr. Billy Graham, my work in the Civil Rights Movement would not have been as successful as it has been,' said Dr. King of Graham. 

He was also a huge inspiration to Vice President Mike Pence, who shared his thoughts about Graham's passing on Twitter.

Graham with wife Ruth and their daughters Virginia, Anne and Ruth in 1954

Graham with wife Ruth and their daughters Virginia, Anne and Ruth in 1954

'Karen and I were saddened to learn of the passing of one of the greatest Americans of the century, Reverend Billy Graham. We send our deepest condolences to the Graham family,' wrote Pence.

'Billy Graham's ministry for the gospel of Jesus Christ and his matchless voice changed the lives of millions. We mourn his passing but I know with absolute certainty that today he heard those words, "well done good and faithful servant." Thank you Billy Graham. God bless you.' 

Kathie Lee Gifford also paid tribute to Graham on Today in an interview with Megyn Kelly, just minutes after learning the news.

'I think the value of a life is if you can look back and say you impacted one person’s life for eternity - how awesome is that? Well, Billy can look back on his life and be absolutely assured that he has impacted millions of lives for eternity,' Gifford said in a tribute to Graham. 

'The thing that I adored most about him is that he remained the most humble and giant of a man you would ever, ever, ever want to meet. He had this incredible, loving presence of a person for the masses, but then when you were one-on-one with him, you were the only person in the room. Rarely do people have both of those gift.'

She also spoke about her reaction upon learning the news, saying: 'I immediately put up my hands and said, thank you, lord, thank you. He has been lingering and languishing.'

She went on to speak about their final meeting. 

'The last time I saw him was four years ago at his 95th birthday party. Frank was alive then, too. We went down there. And I was sitting with his granddaughter at a table and hadn't seen him. But I knew that would be the last time I'd see him. And I said, "Can I go tell your grandfather thank you?,"' said Gifford.

'My whole family came to faith and Jesus through the Billy Graham Organization.'

All the presidents: George H.W.Bush, Bill Clitnion and Jimmy Carter with Graham and his son Franklin in 2007

All the presidents: George H.W.Bush, Bill Clitnion and Jimmy Carter with Graham and his son Franklin in 2007

Graham may have had many famous fan, but no one was more important in his life than wife Ruth, of whom he famously said: 'When it comes to spiritual things, my wife has had the greatest influence on my ministry.'

His children followed in his path two, with all five working in faith-based jobs and his son Franklin the current president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.  

Graham was born on a dairy farm in North Carolina, and began preaching in college. 

He first attended Bob Jones University but then transferred to Tampa Bible College, where he began delivering sermons at United Gospel Tabernacle.

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Comment by Juneyah BeatMaztah on February 21, 2018 at 11:05pm

Exactly Al3xa.Aint no ifs ands buts about that.So why should we simpitize.

Comment by Al3x on February 21, 2018 at 11:50am
Fake Ass Christian evangelist. Leading people to hell for years. All freemasons and devil worshipers. Wolves in sheep clothing.

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