PHOTOS: Billy Graham and family through the decades

Billy Graham once said, “No subject is closer to my heart than the family. … The moral foundation of our country is in danger of crumbling as families break up and parents neglect their responsibilities.” Beside Ruth is the youngest, Ned. In the back, left to right, is Franklin, Anne, Virginia (Gigi) and Ruth Bell (nicknamed “Bunny”). This photo was taken in 1962. Read more about Billy Graham’s life and legacy through his memorial page.
Billy Graham at his North Carolina mountain home with his two sons, Ned and Franklin, in 1965.
Billy and Ruth Graham had 19 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren. This was taken in 1982. Learn more about Billy Graham’s life.
Morrow Coffey Graham, Billy Graham’s mother, with her children on Feb. 28, 1971. From left to right: Jean, Melvin, Billy and Katherine.
The Graham family enjoying a fall day outside their home, which Ruth helped design while Billy was away. The children from left to right: Anne, Ruth, Gigi and Franklin.
Billy Graham and his firstborn, Gigi, share a tender moment in 1971.
Billy Graham at 6 months old with his mother, Morrow Graham. This was his first photo, taken in 1919. Mr. Graham was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Nov. 7, 1918.
Billy Graham said, “The Bible stresses that a marriage ideally should be a picture or a reflection of Christ’s love for His people.” Here are the Grahams at their home in Montreat, North Carolina, in 1966. Read 5 pieces of marriage advice from Billy and Ruth Graham.
Billy Graham wrestled with the problem of being away from his growing family. “Many a time,” he said, “I’ve driven down that driveway with tears coming down my cheeks, not wanting to leave.” His wife, Ruth Bell Graham, said the children were good about him being away “because they knew why he was gone.” She learned to rely on Christ when she felt lonely and kept in touch with her husband through letters, funny pictures and phone calls.
Billy Graham’s oldest son, Franklin, as well as Franklin’s son, Will, have followed Mr. Graham’s footsteps in ministry. Both Franklin and Will have preached around the world. This picture was taken in 1994.
Gigi, Anne, Bunny, Ruth and Billy relaxed with the family dog in Montreat.
Billy Graham thought Ruth Bell was the woman God had long been preparing to stand beside him. Her intelligence, practicality, wit, determination and wholehearted love for Jesus Christ attracted him to her—not to mention that she was the campus beauty!
Billy Graham said many times that he went to his wife, Ruth, for counsel and guidance: “Without Ruth’s partnership and encouragement over the years, my own work would have been impossible.” Here, Ruth gets her turn at the podium at a Columbus, Ohio, event in 1993.
Billy Graham holding his son, Franklin, around 1960.
In 1958, the Grahams’ youngest child, Nelson Edman (Ned) was born. The children from left to right: Franklin, 5; Ruth, 7; Gigi, 12; and Anne, 9.
On Aug. 13, 1943, Billy Graham married Ruth McCue Bell, a fellow student at Wheaton College in Illinois. Ruth was the daughter of a missionary surgeon and spent the first 17 years of her life in China. The couple was married in Montreat, North Carolina.
Billy and Ruth Graham on their 50th wedding anniversary at their home in Montreat in 1993. Ruth wore her wedding dress, which she made herself.
Billy and Ruth Graham playing a game of chess at home. Friends and family of Ruth Graham knew she had a great sense of humor and a heart for others. She also kept the family in line when Billy was away.
Billy Graham was the oldest of four children. Here, he is pictured with his parents and siblings outside his childhood home in Charlotte in 1962. His father, William Franklin, was a dairy farmer and passed away later that year. His mother passed away in 1981. His sister, Jean (far right), is still living.
Franklin Graham said at his mother’s death, “She would help my father prepare his messages, listening with an attentive ear, and if she saw something that wasn’t right or heard something that she felt wasn’t as strong as it could be, she was a voice to strengthen this or eliminate that. Every person needs that kind of input in their life, and she was that to my father.” Ruth passed away on June 14, 2007.
Billy Graham said, “Your own family circle knows whether Christ lives in you and through you.” Here, he and Ruth are pictured in 1993 with their children: Gigi, Anne, Ruth, Franklin and Ned.
Billy Graham with his son, Franklin, in 2005. Franklin is president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, as well as Samaritan’s Purse, a faith-based international relief organization.
Billy and Ruth Graham in New York for a Crusade in 1957.
Billy and Ruth Graham at home with their children in 2003. From left to right: Franklin, Anne, Ned, Gigi and Ruth. Learn more about Billy Graham’s life and message, or leave your memories on his memorial site.