Photo of Rev. Billy Graham pictured in 1966. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. News & World Report collection at the Library of Congress.)

Preacher Billy Graham Dies At 99

The Southern Baptist minister often called the most influential preacher of the 20th Century has passed away at the age of 99.

Several U.S. media outlets report Reverend Billy Graham passed away at his home in Montreat, North Carolina.

In a ministry that spanned six decades, Graham served as the spiritual counsellor for many U.S. presidents, from Harry Truman to Barack Obama. He also had a friendly relationship with Queen Elizabeth II.

Through his outdoor rallies, radio, and television it is believed Graham preached the gospel to more people in the history of Christianity. In 1947, he started his Billy Graham Crusades which aired until 2005.

Graham played a pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement. During a rally in Chattanooga, Tennesse in 1953, he tore down ropes meant to segregate white and black parishioners. He was also said to have privately counselled Reverand Martin Luther King Jr., and other leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Council.

Graham also invited his share of controversy. He supported the Vietnam War, and in 1970 stated that feminism was “an echo of our overall philosophy of permissiveness.” He said the role of women was that of wife, mother and homemaker.

Graham was born November 7, 1918.