Famed Evangelist And Presidential Counselor Billy Graham Dies At Age 99

Billy Graham shakes hands with Billy Carter at the dedication ceremony for the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina, Thursday, May 31, 2007. (Todd Sumlin/Charlotte Observer/MCT)
Charlotte Observer/Tribune News Service

MONTREAT, N.C. (AP) — The Rev. Billy Graham, counselor to presidents and the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history, has died at age 99.

Spokesman Mark DeMoss tell The Associated Press that Graham died Wednesday morning at his home in Montreat, North Carolina.

He had been treated in recent years for cancer, pneumonia and other ailments. His wife, Ruth, died in 2007. Graham reached more than 200 million through his appearances and millions more through his pioneering use of television and radio.

Unlike many traditional evangelists, he abandoned narrow fundamentalism to engage broader society. His message and service to U.S. presidents from Dwight Eisenhower to George W. Bush earned him the nickname “America’s Pastor.” In 1995 his Evangelistic Association designated his son William Franklin Graham III as the ministry’s leader.

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