Reverend Billy Graham, a face familiar to hundreds of millions around the world, has died at the age of 99. Graham died at his home in Montreat, NC. A spokesman for the famed reverend reported he died of Parkinson’s disease, cancer and a variety of other ailments. Graham has preached to over 200 million people over the years. He has meet with and counseled every US President from Harry S. Truman to Barack Obama. Graham was credited with reviving the evangelical christian movement in the US and around the world.
The Graham spokesmen relayed that the reverend had been battling pneumonia and the side effects of cancer treatments in his later years. He has been described as a gregarious showman, who enticed huge crowds to his rallies around the world. He regularly met with Richard Nixon and President Ronald Reagan for the duration of their terms. Graham also had a very friendly relationship with Queen Elizabeth. He was a regular guest at Buckingham Palace, and frequently was invited to Royal events. After Graham’s friendships with Nixon and Lyndon Johnson, Graham stayed away from expressing any political leanings.
Graham married his former classmate at ‘Wheaton’, Ruth Bell in 1920. They were married for 64 years until her death in 2007. The couple had three daughters and two sons, and Graham had 19 grandchildren. Graham was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1992, and at the time he said he was retiring. He was seen at many events after 1992, up until only three years ago. In 2005 he opened his library, ‘The Billy Graham Library’ in Charlotte, NC. On his longevity Graham said, “Most of my life has already been lived, I’ll be grateful when the Lord calls me to heaven. I get tired down here sometimes.”