Billy Graham, known to many as “America’s pastor,” has passed away at the age of 99, FOX News reported.
Graham’s public ministry took off with his first crusade in Los Angeles in 1949. A planned three-week stay lasted closer to eight, FOX 8 reported.
He counted among his friends Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and many former presidents.
Dr. King even preached at a Graham revival in New York in 1957.
Graham was there for the nation after the tragic events on Sept. 11, 2001, and the people of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
America’s pastor has provided counsel to generations of U.S. presidents, beginning with Harry S. Truman.
Staging revivals around the world, the founder of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has reached untold millions of people in person.
Graham wrote 32 books in his lifetime, many of which became top sellers. His autobiography “Just As I Am,” published in 1997, achieved a “triple crown,” appearing simultaneously on the three top best-seller lists in one week.
Standing by him was his beloved wife Ruth who raised their five children while he was away preaching, often for six months at a time.
The two both struggled with health problems late in life, but were never closer as a couple until her death in June 2007. Now Graham will join her in a special area at the Billy Graham Library the couple chose for burial.
Graham leaves behind his children Franklin, Nelson, Virginia, Anne and Ruth, 19 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.
“Every life Billy Graham ever touched — including those that never became president, never spoke in a crusade — is better because he was a good and faithful servant,” said former President Bill Clinton.
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