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The Reverend Billy Graham
"The Pastor to the Presidents"
William "Billy" Franklin Graham- (November 7, 1918-Present)The Reverend Billy Graham is a famous and influential American Evangelical Christian minister and media personality, the Reverend Billy Graham played a significant part of the growth of evangelical Christianity in the United States and in the world in the mid- and late-Twentieth Century. His "Crusades," huge gatherings of believing Christians, drew thousands of the faithful to hear his message, as millions more audience members participated through the medium of the television. He is considered one of the best known Protestant Fundamentalist preachers in America, with a significant following, and the unofficial title of Minister to America's Presidents. He has served as a spiritual advisor to every U.S. President since Dwight Eisenhower.
He became a minister in the Southern Baptist Church in 1939, entered Wheaton College in Illinois and began preaching in Chicago in the early 1940s. While in Chicago, he began a radio program in order to reach more people with his message. Throughout his career, he deftly used the media to enlarge the range of his voice and his message. In 1949, he gained national attention with a preaching campaign he called a "crusade," in Los Angeles. The nationwide focus of his newfound publicity was aided by the desire of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, who increased his newspaper's coverage of Graham because of the strong anti-Communist fervor the young preacher showed in his sermons and his messages.
After a three-month long crusade in New York City in 1957, Billy Graham became one of the leaders of the national Protestant Fundamentalist movement. His ability to speak to the common man, hearkening back to his roots in the hills of North Carolina, enabled him to connect with millions of ordinary Americans in his long and influential career.
Ruth Graham, Billy Graham's closest friend and confidant and his wife of 64 years, died on June 14, 2007.
A new book was released in the summer of 2007, The Preacher and the Presidents: Billy Graham in the White House, detailing Reverend Graham's relationships with American presidents and politicians from the 1940s through the administration of George W. Bush.
On April 25, 2010, Billy Graham's record of relationships with American presidents continued as President Barack Obama visited Reverend Graham at his home in North Carolina, where they prayed together.
Billy Graham was hospitalized on May 11, 2011, with pneumonia. Graham was taken to Mission Hospital, near his Montreat, N.C., home. He experienced episodes of sweating and coughing, a spokesman said, and had a slight fever and experienced difficulty breathing. But he was never in any distress or in an acute situation.
Again, in August, 2012, Reverend Graham was hospitalized with bronchitis.
Billy Graham is the author of over 24 best-selling books. (See below)
Education:--Florida Bible Institute (Trinity College)-1940 with a Bachelors in Theology.
--Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL, --1943 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology.
Accomplishments:--He is one of the founders of the journal Christianity Today.
--Founded the Billy Graham Evangelical Association in the 1950s. Billy Graham retired in 2000, and turned the organization over to his son and successor, the Reverend Franklin Graham.
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William Franklin Graham ( d. 1962)--Father
Morrow Coffey Graham ( d. 1981) --Mother
Ruth McCue Bell (June 10, 1920 June 14, 2007)--Wife
ChildrenVirginia Graham- (b. 1945)
Anne Morrow Graham - (b. 1948)
Ruth Bell Graham - (b. 1950)
William Franklin Graham, III- (b. 1952)
Nelson Edman Graham - (b. 1958)
Associates, Colleagues, & Connections
President Dwight Eisenhower
William Randolph Hearst
President Richard Nixon
Links and Resources on the Reverend Billy Graham
BillyGraham.org--The latest news and schedules for Reverend Graham's ministry
Hour of Decision Online--Reverend Graham's weekly radio broadcast, with archives of past shows
From Pulpit to Politics, a World-Famous Evangelist--NPR radio interview with author Michael Duffy about his new book on Reverend Graham's relationship with many American presidents.
Obama meets, prays with Rev. Billy Graham--CNN, April 25, 2010
Billy Graham admitted to hospital --BBC News, May 11, 2011