Billy Graham, world renowned evangelist, dead at 99

Feb. 21 (UPI) — Rev. Billy Graham, one of the world’s most prominent evangelists, died Wednesday morning at the age of 99.

Graham served as a counselor or minister to a dozen U.S. presidents, preaching to 215 million people in 185 countries around the world.

Given the title of “America’s Pastor,” Graham was ordained in Florida in 1943. His son, Franklin Graham, later took over his ministries.

The world-renowned evangelist retired to his mountain home in Montreat, North Carolina 12 years ago. His last crusade in 2005 was sponsored by 1,400 regional churches and 82 denominations.

Graham and his wife, Ruth McCue Bell, who died in 2007, had five children and 19 grandchildren.

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