Billy Graham (1918-Now) Author

Billy Graham

William Franklin "Billy" Graham, Jr. (born November 7, 1918) is an American evangelical Christian evangelist, ordained as a Southern Baptist minister, who rose to celebrity status in 1949 reaching a core constituency of white, middle-class, moderately conservative Protestants. He held large indoor and outdoor rallies; sermons were broadcast on radio and television, some still being re-broadcast today.

Graham was a spiritual adviser to several Presidents; he was particularly close to Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon. During the civil rights movement, he began to support integrated seating for his revivals and crusades; in 1957 he invited Martin Luther King, Jr. to preach jointly at a revival in New York City. Graham bailed King out of jail in the 1960s when he was arrested in demonstrations.

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