‘America’s Pastor:’ Billy Graham Has Died at 99

February 21, 2018, 1:43 PM UTC

Famed evangelical leader Billy Graham has died at 99, according to a family spokesman and initially reported by ABC and NBC News.

Graham reportedly died at home on Wednesday. His death was confirmed by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

The Associated Press reports that Graham had been treated for cancer, pneumonia and other ailments in recent years. His wife, Ruth, passed away in 2007.

Ordained in 1939, Graham served first as a pastor at First Baptist Church in Western Springs, Illinois. He later launched his first radio program, “Songs in the Night,” leading him into a career of evangelism. Pioneering the use of TV and radio to spread his message, Graham reached an estimated 200 million people

Former Presidents Bush And Clinton And Carter Attend Opening Of Billy Graham Library
Franklin Graham, Billy Graham, and former U.S. Presidents George H. W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton bow their heads in prayer during the Billy Graham Library Dedication Service in 2007 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Davis Turner Getty Images

Graham wrote more than 30 books about the Christian Gospel and his ministry experience. He served as minister or counselor to several U.S. presidents, from Dwight Eisenhower to George W. Bush, earning him the moniker “America’s Pastor.”

Ron Galella Archive - File Photos 2011
Graham attends Billy Graham Hollywood Walk Of Fame Ceremony on October 15, 1989 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)Ron Galella, Ltd. WireImage
Ron Galella, Ltd. WireImage
He leaves behind his five children, 19 grandchildren, and dozens of great-grandchildren.