“America’s Preacher” has died at the age of 99.
Graham served as a spiritual advisor to roughly a dozen U.S. presidents from Harry Truman to Barack Obama — and he made waves in the early 1950s by forcing churches to racially integrate for his services. He preached to an estimated 200 million people in 185 countries around the world during his life.
Graham is reported to have persuaded more than 3 million people to commit their lives to Christianity and his preaching was heard in 185 of the world’s 195 countries, according to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
“He was probably the dominant religious leader of his era; no more than one or two popes, perhaps one or two other people, could come close to what he achieved,” said William Martin, a former historian at Rice University and the author of “A Prophet with Honor: The Billy Graham Story.”
Critics accused Graham of becoming too involved with politics.
His association with President Richard Nixon led to embarrassment in March 2002, when tapes of private conversations between Nixon and Graham revealed the evangelist joining the president in making anti-Semitic remarks about how the Jews control everything.
He leaves behind an asshole son, Franklin Graham, who uses sermons and sharp-voiced Facebook posts, where he has 6.3 million followers, to mock both Islam and LGBT rights, as well as to raise funds for “persecuted Christians.”