Billy Graham, American evangelist, dies at age 99
Reverend was an adviser to US presidents and preached to millions of people around the world.
Billy Graham in photo of 2005
American evangelist Billy Graham, a spiritual advisor to several presidents who preached to thousands of people around the world, died on Wednesday (21) at the age of 99.
William Franklin Graham Jr. died at his home in Montreat, North Carolina, according to Jeremy Blume, a spokesman for the Evangelical Association Billy Graham.
Thanks to his charisma, Graham managed to attract the masses, who followed him through his radio and television programs. He also spread his message over telephone lines and satellites.
About 77 million people watched him in person and another 215 million watched their speeches on TV or satellite links, a spokesman said.
The Reverend became an unofficial White House chaplain for all presidents since Harry Truman (1945-1953), as well as meeting various world leaders.
Billy Graham in a 1961 photo with President John F. Kennedy
According to the association that bears his name, Graham preached in 185 of the 195 countries of the world and converted to Christianity more than 3 million people.
“He was probably the most important religious leader of his era,” said William Martin, author of a book on it.
“There was no one like him,” President Donald Trump said on Twitter after his death was reported. “He will need Christians and all religions, a very special man,” he wrote.
Barack Obama, former US president, and Billy Graham during a meeting in Montreat, North Carolina.
Former President Barack Obama said on Twitter that Graham was a “humble servant who prayed for many.” “With wisdom and grace, he gave hope and guidance to generations of Americans,” he added.
Former US President George W. Bush signs book for Billy Graham at Billy Graham Library in Charlotte.
Former US Presidents George H. W. Bush (left), Bill Clinton (in red tie) and Jimmy Carter (right) pose with Billy Graham and Franklin Graham.