21 Things you don’t know about Billy Graham
Rev. Billy Graham, who rose to prominence in the 1940s as a charismatic orator with a heart for sharing his faith in Jesus Christ, was best known for his crusades that drew crowds that packed stadiums and other large venues for more than a generation.
Graham’s role as a spiritual advisor was well documented but what might not be well known was how much of an impact he truly had on modern political history.
With his death today at exactly 99 years, this piece portrays many things that you may not know about the famous preacher.
1. While his relationship with presidents has differed, Graham has met personally with a dozen American presidents — from Harry S. Truman to Barack Obama.
2. According to a CNN compilation on Graham’s life, the renowned preacher has spoken to more than 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories.
3. At a Jackson, Mississippi, revival in 1952, Graham removed the ropes that separated black and white sections of his audience. When the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. rose to prominence, Graham became a close ally.
4. He had five children, all of whom have gone on to form of ministry. The oldest of the Grahams’ children is Virginia (1945), followed by Anne Morrow (1948), Ruth Bell (1950), William Franklin III (1952), and Nelson Edman (1958).
5. Case in point: He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In fact, Graham was the 1,000th person to have a star installed.
6. Other signs of his influence are, perhaps, best represented by the fact he received an honorary knighthood by Sir Christopher Meyer at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C., in 2001.
7. Graham also has been recognized frequently as one of the 10 most admired men in the world by the Gallup organization.
8. For example, he founded the long-running Christianity Today magazine — one of the most influential publications in the evangelical sphere.
9. Additionally, Graham served as president of Northwestern Bible College in St. Paul, Minnesota.
10. Graham’s life and legacy are also represented at the Billy Graham Library, a popular museum in Charlotte, N.C., near his hometown. The 40,000-square-foot library and museum opened its doors in 2007.
11. Billy Graham’s illnesses include fluid on the brain, prostate cancer, and Parkinson’s disease.
12. A recording of a 1972 conversation between Graham and President Nixon, in which they both make anti-Semitic remarks, is released. Graham later apologizes.
13. In 1983 – Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom
14. 1943-1945 – Takes over a Chicago radio program, “Songs in the Night”.
15. 1934 – Graham becomes “born again” after hearing an evangelist preach in Charlotte, North Carolina.
16. Graham has been listed by Gallup as one of the “Ten Most Admired Men in the World” more than 50 times.
17. June 24-26, 2005 – Graham leads “his last crusade” at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, New York, speaking to more than 230,000 people
18. May 31, 2007 – The Billy Graham Library and Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina, is dedicated. Former Presidents George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter attend.
19. August 2007 – Graham is hospitalized for 11 days to treat intestinal bleeding.
20. August 12, 2012 – Admitted to Mission Hospital in Asheville for treatment of a pulmonary infection believed to be bronchitis. He is released two days later.
21. On the 21st of February, he died at the age of 99 years.