Evangelist Billy Graham, who inspired millions across the world, dies at 99


He's known as 'Amercia's pastor, ' Rev. Billy Graham passed away at age 99.

And in 2001, Graham was awarded an honorary knighthood by the Queen, whom he had met several times, including in 1984 when he preached at Sandringham Parish Church. "He had a powerful, captivating presence and a keen mind", Bush said in a statement. As an adviser to presidents from Henry Truman to George W. Bush, Graham goes down as the Lincoln Bedroom's most frequent occupant, according to Grant Wacker, a Duke University historian and author of, "America's Pastor: Billy Graham and the Shaping of a Nation".

Graham - the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history with crusades that spanned more than 185 countries and territories - died Wednesday at the age of 99 at his home in North Carolina.

In 1995, his son William Franklin Graham III made the ministry's leader by his Evangelistic Association.

Cohen did not respond to Graham's overtures to convert, but the evangelist stood by him over the years, even reportedly suggesting the gangster could make an outstanding gospel preacher if he chose to follow that path. I am not, but he "adopted" me into his family during his final crusade in Texas in 2002.

"Billy Graham is the closest thing to a national pope that we shall ever see", journalist Garry Wills once wrote in The Washington Post. I think Billy touched the hearts of not only Christians, but people of all faiths, because he was such a good man.

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While he never snagged the top spot, Graham was on Gallup's list of most admired men more than any other - 55 times since 1955, the polling institute said in December 2011. "This morning, as he arrived at the heavenly shores, I'm sure he heard, 'Welcome home, Billy'".

Graham also threw his weight behind Nixon during his presidential campaigns and became a frequent visitor at the White House in the years that followed.

In a 2011 interview with Christianity Today, Graham said he wished he had not become as involved in politics. "Well i'm not going anywhere else", Phillips said. "She and I went forward when called and I received Jesus Christ as my personal savior".

The visit echoed others that Graham took as an unofficial U.S. representative to countries that did not have warm ties with the United States at that time. He will be missed by Christians and all religions. Here's a look back at Graham's life and lasting legacy.

But Graham wasn't able to escape the scandal unscathed - anti-Semitic remarks he'd made to Nixon in 1972 were revealed almost 30 years later when the tapes the former President had secretly recorded in his home became declassified.

"That Yanks are not doing too well, and they and the Mets both need your prayers", he said.