Evangelist Billy Graham dies at age 99

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Billy Graham Hospitalized_1519219775857

FILE- In this Dec. 20, 2010 file photo, evangelist Billy Graham, 92, is interviewed at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association headquarters in Charlotte, N.C. The Rev. Billy Graham was admitted to a hospital Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011 near his home in western North Carolina to be tested for pneumonia after suffering from congestion, a cough […]

The Rev. Billy Graham, counselor to presidents and the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history, has died at age 99.

Spokesman Mark DeMoss tell The Associated Press that Graham died Wednesday morning at his home in Montreat, North Carolina.

He had been treated in recent years for cancer, pneumonia and other ailments. His wife, Ruth, died in 2007. Graham reached more than 200 million through his appearances and millions more through his pioneering use of television and radio.

Unlike many traditional evangelists, he abandoned narrow fundamentalism to engage broader society. His message and service to U.S. presidents from Dwight Eisenhower to George W. Bush earned him the nickname “America’s Pastor.” In 1995 his Evangelistic Association designated his son William Franklin Graham III as the ministry’s leader.

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