On Wednesday, February 21st, Billy Graham's family announced that the world-famous evangelist had passed away. Graham, who was 99, died at home with his loving family surrounding him. Throughout his life, Graham brought the good news to nearly 215 million people.
Graham, who was called the "Elvis of Evangelism," was born on November 7th, 1918. He would have been 100 in November 2018. He spent the early years of his life—during the Great Depression—on a dairy farm in North Carolina.
Information in the captions is from NBC.com
Graham rose to national prominence during a series of tent revival crusades in Los Angeles in 1949. In 1950, he founded the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. This photo shows him preaching in the early 1950s.
This iconic photo shows Graham embracing his beloved wife, Ruth, and daughters (clockwise from left) Anne, Ruth (Bunny), and Virginia. Graham had just returned from his "Crusade for Christ" tour in New York City in the mid-1950s. The couple would go on to have five children together.
Graham met his wife, Ruth Bell, while he was at Wheaton College in Illinois.
Graham addresses a crowd of English soccer fans in 1954 at the Stamford Bridge stadium in London during a match between Chelsea and Newcastle United.
In 1950, Graham began the weekly "Hour of Decision" radio program broadcast on more than 700 stations around the world. He is seen here circa 1955.
Graham was a man with a message. He is seen here in the mid-1950s. He attended the Florida Bible Institute, and he was ordained a Southern Baptist minister in 1939.
Seen here in 1954 with his wife Ruth at a London railway station, Graham said of his wife: "I saw her walking down the road towards me and I couldn't help but stare at her as she walked... She looked at me and our eyes met and I felt that she was definitely the woman I wanted to marry." The couple married in 1943, two months after graduating from Wheaton College.
Graham preaches in May 1957 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. This was part of the series of revivalist campaigns that he went on in the 1950s in the U.S. and U.K. Later he would go to the U.S.S.R., South America, and Western Europe.
In this image, taken in New York in June 1959, Graham reaches over a barrier to shake hands with some of the more than 200 followers who greeted him when he returned from a six-month tour. He had been in Australia and Russia with his wife.
In this incredibly iconic image, Graham delivers a sermon on an improvised platform at a "Singing on the Mountain" event held at the base of Grandfather Mountain in Linville, N.C., in August 1962.
Graham, who was known for advising U.S. presidents, walks here (on the left) with President Lyndon B. Johnson (center) near the White House in June 1967. Graham has advised 12 sitting U.S. presidents, from a meeting in 1950 with President Truman to the most recent meeting with President Obama in 2010. "I love them all," he is quoted as having said, "regardless of politics and regardless of who stands for what."
Graham poses for a portrait in 1968.
Graham didn't limit his work to the United States. Here he's seen reading a statement to Russian Orthodox leader Metropolitan Filaret during a meeting in Moscow in May 1982. In the background are several other Soviet religious leaders.
Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Graham speaks at the East Berlin Gethsemane Church in March 1990.
At the start of the first Gulf War, January 17, 1991, Graham stands by President George Bush outside the White House. Earlier that day, upon Bush's request, Graham gave a speech where he said that the present war in the Gulf is a "fight for peace" which will result in "a new world order."
Graham presents his book "Peace with God" to North Korean President Kim il-Sung in April 1992 in Pyongyang.
Graham walks with former President Richard Nixon as they arrive for a service in California following the death of Nixon's wife, Pat, in June 1993. At rear are the Nixons' daughters, Julie and Tricia.
Graham was very close with Nixon, who, after he had lost the 1960 election to John F. Kennedy, wrote to Graham that "I have often told friends that when you went into the ministry, politics lost one of its potentially greatest practitioners."
Graham is applauded on Capitol Hill in May 1996 after receiving the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation's highest civilian honor.
President Bill Clinton bows his head as Graham gives the invocation at the beginning of Clinton's second inauguration, in January 1997.
Graham walks onto the stage at the Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, with the help of his son Franklin Graham. The rally took place in October 2004. After initially declining to follow in his father's footsteps, the younger Graham has become a well-known preacher in his own right and is closely involved in running the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
Evangelist Billy Graham at his home in the mountains of Montreat, near Asheville, North Carolina on July 25, 2006.
In this final image, taken in 2007, Graham speaks during a memorial service for his beloved wife, Ruth, in Montreat. In June of that year, Ruth Graham died at age 87 following a lengthy illness.