Evangelist Billy Graham dies at 99
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Evangelical Christian leader Billy Graham died Wednesday at the age of 99, according to multiple news reports.


He was suffering from cancer, pneumonia and other ailments, a spokesman told local news station WSOC, and died in his home near Charlotte, North Carolina.

Graham, an ordained Southern Baptist minister from North Carolina, reached national prominence with his books and sermons and served as a counselor to a dozen presidents. His words reached hundreds of millions of people in hundreds of countries around the world thanks to his worldwide tours in front of sold-out arenas.

Graham appeared on the Gallup poll list of "Most Admired" Americans 60 times since the organization began tracking the question in 1955. The death of "America's Pastor" was marked by statements from famous supporters of Graham, including President TrumpDonald TrumpEx-DOJ official Rosenstein says he was not aware of subpoena targeting Democrats: report Ex-Biden adviser says Birx told him she hoped election turned out 'a certain way' Cheney rips Arizona election audit: 'It is an effort to subvert democracy' MORE, who said, "There was nobody like him!"

"The GREAT Billy Graham is dead.," the president tweeted. "There was nobody like him! He will be missed by Christians and all religions. A very special man."

Vice President Pence issued a statement saying he was "saddened" by the news.

"We send our deepest condolences to the Graham family," Pence wrote.

"We mourn his passing but I know with absolute certainty that today he heard those words, 'well done good and faithful servant.' Thank you Billy Graham, God bless you," he added.

Former president George H.W. Bush also released a statement, calling the pastor "a personal friend."

"Billy Graham was America's pastor. His faith in Christ and his totally honest evangelical spirit inspired people across the country and around the world. I think Billy touched the hearts of not only Christians, but people of all faiths, because he was such a good man," Bush wrote in a statement.

"I was privileged to have him as a personal friend. He would come to Maine to visit with Barbara and me, and he was a great sport. He loved going really fast in my boat. I guess you could say we had that in common. Then we would come home and talk about life. He was a mentor to several of my children, including the former president of the United States. We will miss our good friend forever," the former president added.

The pastor married Ruth McCue Bell, a fellow student at Wheaton College, in 1943. The couple had five children. Bell died in 2007, five years after Graham's second-youngest son Franklin Graham took over his father's ministries in 2002.

The southern preacher, who was initially skeptical of the civil rights movement, eventually became one of its loudest backers. Graham became friends with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who counted Graham as an important ally.

“Had it not been for the ministry of my good friend Dr. Billy Graham, my work in the civil rights movement would not have been as successful as it has been," King once said. 

Updated at 10:07 a.m.