101 Facts About Billy Graham


Billy Graham was a prominent evangelical Christian figure, and according to a biographer, was "among the most influential Christian leaders" of the 20th century.


Billy Graham hosted the radio show Hour of Decision from 1950 to 1954.


Billy Graham repudiated racial segregation and insisted on racial integration for his revivals and crusades, starting in 1953.


Billy Graham was lifelong friends with Robert Schuller, another televangelist and the founding pastor of the Crystal Cathedral, whom Graham talked into starting his own television ministry.


Billy Graham's evangelism was appreciated by mainline Protestant denominations, as he encouraged those mainline Protestants who were converted to his evangelical message to remain within or return to their mainline churches.


Billy Graham's estimated lifetime audience, including radio and television broadcasts, topped billions of people.


Billy Graham was on Gallup's list of most admired men and women a record 61 times.


Billy Graham was raised on the family dairy farm with his two younger sisters Catherine Morrow and Jean and younger brother Melvin Thomas.


Billy Graham was raised by his parents in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.


Billy Graham started to read books from an early age and loved to read novels for boys, especially Tarzan.


Billy Graham was 15 when Prohibition ended in December 1933, and his father forced him and his sister Catherine to drink beer until they became sick.


Billy Graham was turned down for membership in a local youth group for being "too worldly".


Albert McMakin, who worked on the Billy Graham farm, persuaded him to go see evangelist Mordecai Ham.


In 1937, Billy Graham transferred to the Florida Bible Institute in Temple Terrace, Florida.


In 1939, Billy Graham was ordained by a group of Southern Baptist clergy at Peniel Baptist Church in Palatka, Florida.


Henrietta Mears of the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood in California was instrumental in helping Billy Graham wrestle with the issue.


Billy Graham settled it at Forest Home Christian Camp southeast of the Big Bear Lake area in southern California.


In June 1943, Billy Graham graduated from Wheaton College with a degree in anthropology.


That same year, Robert Van Kampen, treasurer of the National Gideon Association, invited Billy Graham to preach at Western Springs Baptist Church, and Billy Graham accepted the opportunity on the spot.


Billy Graham was 29 when he became president of Northwestern Bible College in Minneapolis in 1948.


Billy Graham was the youngest president of a college or university in the country, and held the position for four years before he resigned in 1952.


Billy Graham initially intended to become a chaplain in the Armed Forces, but he contracted mumps shortly after applying for a commission.


Billy Graham traveled throughout both the United States and Europe as a YFCI evangelist.


Templeton applied to Princeton Theological Seminary for an advanced theological degree and urged Billy Graham to do so as well, but he declined as he was already serving as the president of Northwestern Bible College.


In 1949, Billy Graham scheduled a series of revival meetings in Los Angeles, for which he erected circus tents in a parking lot.


Billy Graham attracted national media coverage, especially in the conservative Hearst chain of newspapers, although Hearst and Graham never met.


Billy Graham became a national figure with heavy coverage from the wire services and national magazines.


Billy Graham was 28 years old and would rent a large venue, such as a stadium, park, or street.


Billy Graham would preach the gospel and invite people to come forward.


In Moscow in 1992, one-quarter of the 155,000 people in Billy Graham's audience went forward at his call.


Billy Graham was offered a five-year, $1 million contract from NBC to appear on television opposite Arthur Godfrey, but he had prior commitments.


Billy Graham turned down the offer in order to continue his touring revivals.


Billy Graham had crusades in London, and a New York City crusade in Madison Square Garden in 1957, which ran nightly for 16 weeks.


Billy Graham often quoted a six-word phrase that was reportedly written in the Bible of William Whiting Borden, the son of a wealthy silver magnate: "No reserves, no retreat, no regrets".


Billy Graham recalled in his autobiography that during this time, he and King developed a close friendship and that he was eventually one of the few people who referred to King as "Mike", a nickname which King asked only his closest friends to call him.


In private, Billy Graham advised King and other members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.


In 1963, Billy Graham posted bail for King to be released from jail during the Birmingham campaign, according to Michael Long, and the King Center acknowledged that Billy Graham had bailed King out of jail during the Albany Movement, although historian Steven Miller told CNN he could not find any proof of the incident.


Billy Graham held integrated crusades in Birmingham on Easter of 1964, in the aftermath of the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, and toured Alabama again in the wake of the violence that accompanied the first Selma to Montgomery march in 1965.


Young claimed that Billy Graham had often invited King to his crusades in the Northern states.


Billy Graham's faith prompted his maturing view of race and segregation.


Billy Graham told a member of the Ku Klux Klan that integration was necessary, primarily for religious reasons.


The friendship between Billy Graham and John Stott led to a further partnership in the Lausanne Movement, of which Billy Graham was a founder.


Billy Graham deliberately reached into the secular world as a bridge builder.


Billy Graham appeared as a guest on a 1969 Woody Allen television special, in which he joined the comedian in a witty exchange on theological matters.


Billy Graham corresponded with imprisoned South African leader Nelson Mandela during the latter's 27-year imprisonment.


At one revival in Seoul, South Korea, Billy Graham attracted more than one million people to a single service.


Billy Graham appeared in China in 1988; for his wife, Ruth, this was a homecoming, since she had been born in China to missionary parents.


On October 15,1989, Billy Graham received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


Billy Graham was the only person functioning as a minister who received a star in that capacity.


On September 22,1991, Billy Graham held his largest event in North America on the Great Lawn of Manhattan's Central Park.


In 1998, Billy Graham spoke to a crowd of scientists and philosophers at the Technology, Entertainment, Design Conference.


On September 14,2001, Graham was invited to lead a service at Washington National Cathedral; the service was attended by President George W Bush and past and present leaders.


Billy Graham spoke at the memorial service following the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.


Billy Graham said that his planned retirement was a result of his failing health; he had suffered from hydrocephalus from 1992 on.


On July 9,2006, he spoke at the Metro Maryland Franklin Billy Graham Festival, held in Baltimore, Maryland, at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.


Billy Graham announced in June 2007 that he and his wife would be buried alongside each other at the Billy Graham Library in his hometown of Charlotte.


When Ruth Billy Graham died, it was announced that they would be buried at the library site.


Billy Graham said he had a habit of advising evangelists to save their time and avoid having too many commitments.


Billy Graham was a lifelong registered member of the Democratic Party.


Billy Graham worked "behind the scenes" to encourage influential Protestant ministers to speak out against Kennedy.


Billy Graham did not completely ally himself with the later religious right, saying that Jesus did not have a political party.


Billy Graham gave his support to various political candidates over the years.


In 2012, Billy Graham endorsed the Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney.


In 2016, according to his son Franklin, Billy Graham voted for Donald Trump.


Billy Graham purportedly urged him to intervene with federal troops in the case of the Little Rock Nine to gain admission of black students to public schools.


Billy Graham met and became a close friend of Vice President Richard Nixon, and supported Nixon, a Quaker, for the 1960 presidential election.


On December 16,1963, US President Lyndon B Johnson, who was impressed by the way Graham had praised the work of his great-grandfather, George Washington Baines, invited Graham to the White House to receive spiritual counseling.


Supportive of Johnson's domestic policies, and hoping to preserve his friendship with the president, Billy Graham resisted pressure to endorse Goldwater and stayed neutral in the election.


Billy Graham spent the last night of Johnson's presidency in the White House, and he stayed for the first night of Nixon's.


Billy Graham officiated at one presidential burial and one presidential funeral.


Billy Graham presided over the graveside services of President Lyndon B Johnson in 1973 and took part in eulogizing the former president.


Billy Graham officiated at the funeral services of former First Lady Pat Nixon in 1993, and the death and state funeral of Richard Nixon in 1994.


Billy Graham was unable to attend the state funeral of Ronald Reagan on June 11,2004, as he was recovering from hip replacement surgery.


Billy Graham had a friendly relationship with Queen Elizabeth II and was frequently invited by the Royal Family to special events.


Billy Graham was outspoken against communism and supported the American Cold War policy, including the Vietnam War.


In 1982, Billy Graham preached in the Soviet Union and attended a wreath-laying ceremony to honor the war dead of World War II, when the Soviets were American allies in the fight against Nazism.


Billy Graham went on to note that although he had never met Kim's son and then-current North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, he had "exchanged gifts with him".


In 2009, more Nixon tapes were released, in which Billy Graham is heard in a 1973 conversation with Nixon referring to a group of Jewish journalists as "the synagogue of Satan".


Billy Graham expressed inclusivist views, suggesting that people without explicit faith in Jesus can be saved.


In 1970, Billy Graham stated that feminism was "an echo of our overall philosophy of permissiveness" and that women did not want to be "competitive juggernauts pitted against male chauvinists".


Billy Graham further stated that the role of wife, mother, and homemaker was the destiny of "real womanhood" according to the Judeo-Christian ethic.


Billy Graham's assertions, published in the Ladies' Home Journal, elicited letters of protest, and were offered as rebuttal to the establishment of "The New Feminism" section of the publication that had added following a sit-in protest at the Journal offices demanding female representation on the staff of the publication.


Billy Graham's daughter Anne is a Christian minister, leading a Christian ministry organization known as AnGeL Ministries.


Billy Graham regarded homosexuality as a sin, and in 1974 described it as "a sinister form of perversion".


Corky Siemaszko, writing for NBC News, noted that after the 1993 incident, Billy Graham "largely steered clear of the subject".


Billy Graham was frequently honored by surveys, including "Greatest Living American", and consistently ranked among the most admired persons in the United States and the world.


Billy Graham appeared most frequently on Gallup's list of most admired people.


Billy Graham received the Big Brother of the Year Award for his work on behalf of children.


Billy Graham was cited by the George Washington Carver Memorial Institute for his contributions to race relations.


Billy Graham received the Templeton Foundation Prize for Progress in Religion and the Sylvanus Thayer Award for his commitment to "Duty, Honor, Country".


Billy Graham was the first non-musician inducted, and had helped to revitalize interest in hymns and create new favorite songs.


Billy Graham sang it at the memorial service honoring Graham at the United States Capitol rotunda on February 28,2018.


Billy Graham received 20 honorary degrees and refused at least that many more.


On May 31,2007, the $27 million Billy Graham Library was officially dedicated in Charlotte.


In 2013, the album My Hope: Songs Inspired by the Message and Mission of Billy Graham was recorded by Amy Grant, Kari Jobe, Newsboys, Matthew West, tobyMac, and other music artists with new songs to honor Graham during his My Hope America with Billy Graham outreach and the publication of his book The Reason for My Hope: Salvation.


Billy Graham authored the following books; many of which have become bestsellers.


Billy Graham's father, L Nelson Bell, was a general surgeon.


At the time of his death at age 99 in 2018, Billy Graham was survived by 5 children, 19 grandchildren, 41 great-grandchildren, and 6 great-great-grandchildren.


Billy Graham died of natural causes on February 21,2018, at his home in Montreat, North Carolina, at the age of 99.


On February 28 and March 1,2018, Billy Graham became the fourth private citizen in United States history to lie in honor at the United States Capitol rotunda in Washington, DC He is the first religious leader to be so honored.


President Donald Trump said Billy Graham was "an ambassador for Christ".