Happy 96th Birthday, Billy Graham

Photo Gallery: Billy Graham Through the Years

Grahams 1993

Billy and Ruth Graham celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1993 with their five children: Gigi, Anne, Franklin, Ned and Ruth.

Rio De Janerio

In October 1974, the largest crowd to attend an evangelistic service in the Western Hemisphere — 225,000 people — filled Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium.


Taking in the mountain view with his dogs at home. In 1957, before leaving for a New York Crusade, Billy Graham wrote in his journal: “I have come to love this mountaintop and would like nothing better than for the Lord to say I should stay here for the rest of my life.” Yet it was clear to him that God had called him to minister to people around the world, and so he went.

Pres Medal Of Freedom

President Ronald Reagan presenting Billy Graham with the Presidential Medal of Freedom


Billy Graham with Great Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II

Franklin Bunny Anne Gigi Ruth Ned

Franklin, Ruth (“Bunny”), Anne, Gigi, Ruth Graham and baby Ned at home in North Carolina

Pope John Paul II

Billy Graham meeting with Pope John Paul II in Rome

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Billy Graham with his sons at his home in Montreat, N.C.


South Africa’s first public integrated meetings were held in Durban and, a few days later, in Johannesburg (pictured) in 1973. Both were Billy Graham Crusades.

B And R

Ruth and Billy Graham at home in Montreat, N.C., on their 50th wedding anniversary


Billy Graham and longtime friend Johnny Cash in 1985. Johnny Cash once wrote of Mr. Graham: “His simplicity, his common touch, his childlike compassion for his fellowman is the source of his greatness. … He is what he appears to be; a dedicated vessel of God’s earthly endeavors among men.”


Billy Graham singing with longtime friends and ministry partners, Cliff Barrows (left) and George Beverly Shea (right)


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. credited Billy Graham with playing a major role in lessening tensions between races.


Billy Graham praying

Prayer Breakfast

Billy Graham speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast in 1963

Filming Telecast For Hour Of Dec Tv Program

Billy Graham filming a telecast for “The Hour of Decision” television program

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Billy Graham reading the Bible


Johnny Carson interviewing Billy Graham


Billy Graham’s largest Crusade was in Seoul, Korea (Yoida Plaza) with 1.1 million people attending at one time. The Crusade ran for five days, with Mr. Graham preaching to more than 3 million people total.


Billy Graham with Margaret Thatcher, the late prime minister of the UK, in 1989

Anne Ruth Bunny Gigi Fg Bg

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.

Canvas Cathedral 1949 LA

The 1949 Greater Los Angeles Revival, held in a tent nicknamed “The Canvas Cathedral,” moved Billy Graham into the national spotlight.


Showing off his catch


Billy Graham’s wife, Ruth, passed away on June 14, 2007, two weeks after the dedication of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C. Billy Graham wrote in her obituary: “I am so grateful to the Lord that He gave me Ruth, and especially for these last few years we’ve had in the mountains together. We’ve rekindled the romance of our youth, and my love for her continued to grow deeper every day. I will miss her terribly, and look forward even more to the day I can join her in Heaven.”


Enjoying a round of golf


Barbara Walters, Hugh Downs and Joe Garagiola with Billy Graham in 1968

African Village

Spending time with some children in an African village in 1960


Billy Graham spoke at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 14, 2001, following terrorist attacks on U.S. soil a few days earlier. Here, he prays with President George W. Bush.


The evangelist once said, “Without dark clouds in our lives, we would never know the joy of sunshine. We can become callous and unteachable if we do not learn from pain.”


Boxing great Muhammad Ali once visited Mr. Graham at his home.


In his early days, Billy Graham wanted to play professional baseball. But instead of swinging the bat in packed stadiums, he found himself with his Bible in hand, preaching the Gospel to millions around the world — often speaking in baseball stadiums.


George Beverly Shea with Billy Graham. Mr. Shea, who passed away April 16, 2013, often sang Gospel tunes in his famous baritone voice before Mr. Graham would preach.

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Billy Graham said, “I learned the importance of the Bible and came to believe with all my heart in its full inspiration. It became a sword in my hand to break open the hearts of men, to direct them to the Lord Jesus Christ.”

1954 London Trafalgar Square CROP

Preaching at the 1954 Crusade in London’s Trafalgar Square