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High school graduation

William “Billy” Graham at age 17, at his graduation from Charlotte High School in June 1935. He had already embraced religion at a local revival meeting and decided that he would focus on the pulpit rather than the baseball diamond. (Photo: AP)

Evangelist Billy Graham is dead at age 99

Billy Graham, was born William Franklin Graham, Jr., in Charlotte, N.C., on Nov. 7, 1918.

Billy Graham was ordained in the Southern Baptist Convention, an American Christian denomination. Graham became known nationally in 1949, thanks to the support of major media conglomerates at the time.

Graham was a religious adviser to many U.S. presidents, most notably Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard M. Nixon. He was married to Ruth Graham for 64 years until her death in 2007.

The Grahams had five children, Franklin, Nelson, Virginia, Anne and Ruth. Billy Graham was known for his Billy Graham Crusades, speaking tours he held around the world. His sermons were broadcast across media platforms, including radio and television. In 1950, he created the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, from which he retired in 2005.

His son Franklin Graham became the head and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, or BGEA, in 2002. (AP)

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