(CNN)If you didn’t grow up listening to Billy Graham’s Sunday radio show or watching his TV show — you might not know the ubiquitous Christian televangelist from the WWE wrestler.

Outside of being the “pastor to the presidents,” Graham — who died Wednesday at the age of 99 — was one of the first Christian preachers to harness the power of media to spread his religion’s message.Here are 10 facts about the man known as the “Protestant Pope”:1. Billy Graham once preached for more than 100 nights straightEvery night for 16 consecutive weeks, Billy Graham addressed the sold-out audiences in New York’s Madison Square Garden at his so-called New York Crusade in 1957. The event was only supposed to last for six weeks.Read More2. He’s met with 12 post-war presidentsFrom Harry Truman to Barack Obama, Billy Graham knew them all — attending the inaugurations of six presidents and delivering the invocations for two: George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. 3. He helped George W. Bush stop drinkingIn his 2010 book “Decision Points,” former President George W. Bush said he was actually drunk when he first met Graham at his parents’ family home in Maine in 1985. The two talked extensively the next day and later, Graham sent Bush a Bible and that he said helped him to better understand Christianity and change his life.Evangelist Billy Graham, who reached millions of people through his Christian rallies and developed a relationship with every US president since Harry Truman, died Wednesday, February 21, at the age of 99.Evangelist Billy Graham, who reached millions of people through his Christian rallies and developed a relationship with every US president since Harry Truman, died Wednesday, February 21, at the age of 99. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Evangelist Billy Graham, who reached millions of people through his Christian rallies and developed a relationship with every US president since Harry Truman, died Wednesday, February 21, at the age of 99.Hide Caption 1 of 43A school portrait of Graham, age 17, in 1935. After high school, Graham moved from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Tennessee to enroll in the conservative Christian school Bob Jones College. He then transferred to the Florida Bible Institute. He was ordained a Southern Baptist minister in 1939 and quickly gained a reputation as an evangelical preacher.A school portrait of Graham, age 17, in 1935. After high school, Graham moved from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Tennessee to enroll in the conservative Christian school Bob Jones College. He then transferred to the Florida Bible Institute. He was ordained a Southern Baptist minister in 1939 and quickly gained a reputation as an evangelical preacher. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'A school portrait of Graham, age 17, in 1935. After high school, Graham moved from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Tennessee to enroll in the conservative Christian school Bob Jones College. He then transferred to the Florida Bible Institute. He was ordained a Southern Baptist minister in 1939 and quickly gained a reputation as an evangelical preacher.Hide Caption 2 of 43Graham preaches in the early 1950s. He said he became "born again" after hearing an evangelist at a tent meeting in 1934.Graham preaches in the early 1950s. He said he became "born again" after hearing an evangelist at a tent meeting in 1934. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Graham preaches in the early 1950s. He said he became “born again” after hearing an evangelist at a tent meeting in 1934.Hide Caption 3 of 43Graham reads on an airplane during a "Pulpit in the Sky" trip in 1953.Graham reads on an airplane during a "Pulpit in the Sky" trip in 1953. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Graham reads on an airplane during a “Pulpit in the Sky” trip in 1953.Hide Caption 4 of 43Graham addresses a crowd in London's Trafalgar Square in 1954. Graham's London crusade lasted 12 weeks and drew huge crowds.Graham addresses a crowd in London's Trafalgar Square in 1954. Graham's London crusade lasted 12 weeks and drew huge crowds. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Graham addresses a crowd in London’s Trafalgar Square in 1954. Graham’s London crusade lasted 12 weeks and drew huge crowds.Hide Caption 5 of 43Graham speaks to soccer fans in London during halftime of a match between Chelsea and Newcastle United.Graham speaks to soccer fans in London during halftime of a match between Chelsea and Newcastle United. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Graham speaks to soccer fans in London during halftime of a match between Chelsea and Newcastle United.Hide Caption 6 of 43In the 1950s, Graham began a weekly Sunday night radio program, "The Hour of Decision."In the 1950s, Graham began a weekly Sunday night radio program, "The Hour of Decision." Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'In the 1950s, Graham began a weekly Sunday night radio program, “The Hour of Decision.”Hide Caption 7 of 43Graham embraces his family upon his return from his "Crusade for Christ" tour in the 1950s. With him from left are his wife, Ruth, and his daughters Anne, Virginia and Ruth (Bunny).Graham embraces his family upon his return from his "Crusade for Christ" tour in the 1950s. With him from left are his wife, Ruth, and his daughters Anne, Virginia and Ruth (Bunny). Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Graham embraces his family upon his return from his “Crusade for Christ” tour in the 1950s. With him from left are his wife, Ruth, and his daughters Anne, Virginia and Ruth (Bunny).Hide Caption 8 of 43In 1957, Graham's crusade at New York's Madison Square Garden ran nightly for 16 weeks.In 1957, Graham's crusade at New York's Madison Square Garden ran nightly for 16 weeks. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'In 1957, Graham’s crusade at New York’s Madison Square Garden ran nightly for 16 weeks.Hide Caption 9 of 43US President Dwight D. Eisenhower visits with Graham at the White House in 1957.US President Dwight D. Eisenhower visits with Graham at the White House in 1957. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'US President Dwight D. Eisenhower visits with Graham at the White House in 1957.Hide Caption 10 of 43Supporters greet Graham upon his arrival in New York in 1959. Graham and his wife were returning from a six-month speaking tour that included stops in Australia and the Soviet Union.Supporters greet Graham upon his arrival in New York in 1959. Graham and his wife were returning from a six-month speaking tour that included stops in Australia and the Soviet Union. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Supporters greet Graham upon his arrival in New York in 1959. Graham and his wife were returning from a six-month speaking tour that included stops in Australia and the Soviet Union.Hide Caption 11 of 43In 1960, Graham explains the Bible to Waarusha warriors in Tanzania.In 1960, Graham explains the Bible to Waarusha warriors in Tanzania. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'In 1960, Graham explains the Bible to Waarusha warriors in Tanzania.Hide Caption 12 of 43Graham visits with children during a trip to Ghana in 1960.Graham visits with children during a trip to Ghana in 1960. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Graham visits with children during a trip to Ghana in 1960.Hide Caption 13 of 43Graham sits in a jungle clearing a few miles from Ibadan, Nigeria, in 1960.Graham sits in a jungle clearing a few miles from Ibadan, Nigeria, in 1960. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Graham sits in a jungle clearing a few miles from Ibadan, Nigeria, in 1960.Hide Caption 14 of 43Graham sits with US President John F. Kennedy.Graham sits with US President John F. Kennedy. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Graham sits with US President John F. Kennedy.Hide Caption 15 of 43Graham gets a kiss from his wife, Ruth, after they returned to the United States following a tour in Africa and the Middle East.Graham gets a kiss from his wife, Ruth, after they returned to the United States following a tour in Africa and the Middle East. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Graham gets a kiss from his wife, Ruth, after they returned to the United States following a tour in Africa and the Middle East.Hide Caption 16 of 43Graham dictates a synopsis of his evening sermon into a tape recorder in 1962. Secretaries would then type the synopsis for distribution to the press. Graham was conducting an eight-day crusade in Fresno, California.Graham dictates a synopsis of his evening sermon into a tape recorder in 1962. Secretaries would then type the synopsis for distribution to the press. Graham was conducting an eight-day crusade in Fresno, California. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Graham dictates a synopsis of his evening sermon into a tape recorder in 1962. Secretaries would then type the synopsis for distribution to the press. Graham was conducting an eight-day crusade in Fresno, California.Hide Caption 17 of 43Graham appears in the 1963 documentary "The World's Greatest Showman: The Legend of Cecil B. DeMille."Graham appears in the 1963 documentary "The World's Greatest Showman: The Legend of Cecil B. DeMille." Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Graham appears in the 1963 documentary “The World’s Greatest Showman: The Legend of Cecil B. DeMille.”Hide Caption 18 of 43Graham addresses the congregation at the opening of a 32-day London crusade in 1966.Graham addresses the congregation at the opening of a 32-day London crusade in 1966. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Graham addresses the congregation at the opening of a 32-day London crusade in 1966.Hide Caption 19 of 43Graham speaks to more than 5,000 US troops in Vietnam in 1966.Graham speaks to more than 5,000 US troops in Vietnam in 1966. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Graham speaks to more than 5,000 US troops in Vietnam in 1966.Hide Caption 20 of 43Graham addresses an audience in 1967. He was frequently listed by Gallup as one of the "Ten Most Admired Men in the World."Graham addresses an audience in 1967. He was frequently listed by Gallup as one of the "Ten Most Admired Men in the World." Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Graham addresses an audience in 1967. He was frequently listed by Gallup as one of the “Ten Most Admired Men in the World.”Hide Caption 21 of 43Graham is flanked by US President Richard Nixon, left, and Vice President Spiro Agnew as they bow their heads in prayer in 1969. Graham was speaking at Nixon's inauguration.Graham is flanked by US President Richard Nixon, left, and Vice President Spiro Agnew as they bow their heads in prayer in 1969. Graham was speaking at Nixon's inauguration. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Graham is flanked by US President Richard Nixon, left, and Vice President Spiro Agnew as they bow their heads in prayer in 1969. Graham was speaking at Nixon’s inauguration.Hide Caption 22 of 43Graham rides a donkey in Jerusalem while visiting the city in 1969.Graham rides a donkey in Jerusalem while visiting the city in 1969. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Graham rides a donkey in Jerusalem while visiting the city in 1969.Hide Caption 23 of 43Graham speaks to a crowd of 18,000 on the closing night of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1974.Graham speaks to a crowd of 18,000 on the closing night of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1974. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Graham speaks to a crowd of 18,000 on the closing night of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1974.Hide Caption 24 of 43Graham speaks at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1978. Inclement weather had forced the crusade to the nearby Mid-South Coliseum, but when the clouds lifted, Graham went to the stadium to speak to those who could not get into the smaller indoor arena.Graham speaks at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1978. Inclement weather had forced the crusade to the nearby Mid-South Coliseum, but when the clouds lifted, Graham went to the stadium to speak to those who could not get into the smaller indoor arena. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Graham speaks at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1978. Inclement weather had forced the crusade to the nearby Mid-South Coliseum, but when the clouds lifted, Graham went to the stadium to speak to those who could not get into the smaller indoor arena.Hide Caption 25 of 43Graham and his wife visit her birthplace in Huaiyin, China, in 1988. They were married for 64 years until her death in 2007.Graham and his wife visit her birthplace in Huaiyin, China, in 1988. They were married for 64 years until her death in 2007. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Graham and his wife visit her birthplace in Huaiyin, China, in 1988. They were married for 64 years until her death in 2007.Hide Caption 26 of 43Graham takes a boat ride with US President George H.W, Bush near Bush's summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine, in 1989.Graham takes a boat ride with US President George H.W, Bush near Bush's summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine, in 1989. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Graham takes a boat ride with US President George H.W, Bush near Bush’s summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine, in 1989.Hide Caption 27 of 43Graham preaches in New York's Central Park in 1991. It was his first appearance in New York City since 1970. The crowd was estimated at 200,000.Graham preaches in New York's Central Park in 1991. It was his first appearance in New York City since 1970. The crowd was estimated at 200,000. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Graham preaches in New York’s Central Park in 1991. It was his first appearance in New York City since 1970. The crowd was estimated at 200,000.Hide Caption 28 of 43Graham stands next to singer Johnny Cash in New York's Central Park.Graham stands next to singer Johnny Cash in New York's Central Park. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Graham stands next to singer Johnny Cash in New York’s Central Park.Hide Caption 29 of 43Pope John Paul II meets with Graham at the Vatican in 1993. Graham had often been called the "Protestant Pope."Pope John Paul II meets with Graham at the Vatican in 1993. Graham had often been called the "Protestant Pope." Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Pope John Paul II meets with Graham at the Vatican in 1993. Graham had often been called the “Protestant Pope.”Hide Caption 30 of 43In 1996, House Speaker Newt Gingrich presents Graham with a Congressional Gold Medal during a ceremony on Capitol Hill.In 1996, House Speaker Newt Gingrich presents Graham with a Congressional Gold Medal during a ceremony on Capitol Hill. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'In 1996, House Speaker Newt Gingrich presents Graham with a Congressional Gold Medal during a ceremony on Capitol Hill.Hide Caption 31 of 43Graham gestures as he speaks to a capacity crowd at Ericsson Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1996.Graham gestures as he speaks to a capacity crowd at Ericsson Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1996. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Graham gestures as he speaks to a capacity crowd at Ericsson Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1996.Hide Caption 32 of 43In 1997, Graham gave the invocation at the second inauguration of President Bill Clinton.In 1997, Graham gave the invocation at the second inauguration of President Bill Clinton. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'In 1997, Graham gave the invocation at the second inauguration of President Bill Clinton.Hide Caption 33 of 43Graham greets Chinese President Jiang Zemin at a California luncheon in 1997.Graham greets Chinese President Jiang Zemin at a California luncheon in 1997. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Graham greets Chinese President Jiang Zemin at a California luncheon in 1997.Hide Caption 34 of 43Former first lady Nancy Reagan greets Graham at the gala dedication of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.Former first lady Nancy Reagan greets Graham at the gala dedication of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Former first lady Nancy Reagan greets Graham at the gala dedication of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.Hide Caption 35 of 43Presidential candidate George W. Bush meets with Graham in Jacksonville, Florida, in 2000. Years earlier, Bush said, a conversation with Graham had helped lead him to give up drinking.Presidential candidate George W. Bush meets with Graham in Jacksonville, Florida, in 2000. Years earlier, Bush said, a conversation with Graham had helped lead him to give up drinking. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Presidential candidate George W. Bush meets with Graham in Jacksonville, Florida, in 2000. Years earlier, Bush said, a conversation with Graham had helped lead him to give up drinking.Hide Caption 36 of 43Graham speaks to a crowd at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, in 2004. Over the course of his career, Graham preached to more than 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories.Graham speaks to a crowd at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, in 2004. Over the course of his career, Graham preached to more than 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Graham speaks to a crowd at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, in 2004. Over the course of his career, Graham preached to more than 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories.Hide Caption 37 of 43Graham leads his "last crusade" at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in New York in 2005. He spoke to more than 230,000 people.Graham leads his "last crusade" at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in New York in 2005. He spoke to more than 230,000 people. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Graham leads his “last crusade” at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in New York in 2005. He spoke to more than 230,000 people.Hide Caption 38 of 43Graham sits in his mountain home in Montreat, North Carolina, in 2006.Graham sits in his mountain home in Montreat, North Carolina, in 2006. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Graham sits in his mountain home in Montreat, North Carolina, in 2006.Hide Caption 39 of 43Graham and his son Franklin attend the Metro Maryland Festival in 2006. The three-day program was led by Franklin.Graham and his son Franklin attend the Metro Maryland Festival in 2006. The three-day program was led by Franklin. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Graham and his son Franklin attend the Metro Maryland Festival in 2006. The three-day program was led by Franklin.Hide Caption 40 of 43US President Barack Obama meets with Graham at his Montreat home in 2010.US President Barack Obama meets with Graham at his Montreat home in 2010. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'US President Barack Obama meets with Graham at his Montreat home in 2010.Hide Caption 41 of 43Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks with Graham and his son Franklin during a visit to Montreat in 2012.Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks with Graham and his son Franklin during a visit to Montreat in 2012. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks with Graham and his son Franklin during a visit to Montreat in 2012.Hide Caption 42 of 43Well-wishers gather with Graham at his 95th birthday celebration in 2013.Well-wishers gather with Graham at his 95th birthday celebration in 2013. Photos: Billy Graham: 'America's pastor'Well-wishers gather with Graham at his 95th birthday celebration in 2013.Hide Caption 43 of 4301 billy graham - restricted02 billy graham02 billy graham life03 billy graham - restricted04 billy graham04 billy graham life01 graham update08 billy graham life04 graham update01 graham eisenhower06 billy graham03 graham update07 billy graham08 billy graham06 graham update09 billy graham10 billy graham06 billy graham06 billy graham life13 billy graham14 billy graham02 graham update15 billy graham16 billy graham17 billy graham - restricted09 billy graham life05 graham update10 billy graham life09 graham update18 billy graham - restricted11 billy graham life19 billy graham12 billy graham life14 billy graham life13 billy graham life23 billy graham03 billy graham life22 billy graham21 billy graham08 graham updateBilly Graham and Obama16 billy graham life01 Billy Graham 1106 FILE 4. He apologized for anti-Semitic remarks caught on tape with President NixonIn March 2002, tapes were released of private conversations between President Nixon and Graham in 1973, in which Graham joins Nixon in making anti-Semitic remarks. Graham later apologized.5. His preaching has been heard in nearly every countryBilly Graham’s preaching has been heard in more than 185 of the world’s 195 countries, to 215 million people. 6. More than a million people came to see him on one day On June 3, 1973, an estimated 1.1 million people attended the final day of a five-day crusade in Seoul, South Korea — the largest single turnout for a Billy Graham rally. More than 3.2 million attended the entire crusade, the largest gathering he’s ever had.7. Mormonism no longer a “cult” after Romney meetingAfter Graham met with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney — a Mormon — at his mountaintop retreat in 2012, the Billy Graham Evangelical Association removed a reference on its website that said Mormonism was a cult. The association’s chief of staff Ken Barun explained that the reference was scrubbed “because we do not wish to participate in a theological debate about something that has become politicized during this campaign.”8. He was a registered DemocratDespite his conservative views, Billy Graham told Katie Couric in 2005 that he was a registered Democrat, adding that it doesn’t determine the candidates he supports. “I’m for whoever the best candidate is,” he said.9. He’s converted more than 3 million peopleWhile the actual number is unknown, at least 3.2 million people have decided to convert to evangelical Christianity as a result of his preaching, according to William Martin’s book, “A Prophet With Honor: The Billy Graham Story.”10. Preaching kept him away from the birth of his first child Billy Graham missed the birth of his first child, Virginia, known as Gigi, in 1945 because he was away on a preaching trip. In his autobiography “Just As I Am,” Graham talked about the sacrifices his wife Ruth made raising the couple’s five children. “What I missed!” he wrote. “And what Ruth missed by not having me to help her. Whenever I did get home, I got a crash course in the agony and ecstasy of parenting. If Ruth had not been convinced that God had called her to fulfill that side of our partnership and had not resorted constantly to God’s Word for instruction and to His grace for strength, I don’t see how she could have survived.”

Source Link:
https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/21/us/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-billy-graham/index.html

[-0.210774]

Comments

comments

Advertisement