Billy Graham, Internationally Renowned Evangelist and American Hero, Dies at 99

By Irene Nwoye | The Harris Poll |

The world-famous evangelist, Billy Graham, passed away in the early hours of Wednesday, February 21 after battling cancer, pneumonia and other ailments. Fondly dubbed “America’s pastor,” Graham is known for revolutionizing evangelicalism and serving as a confidant to U.S. presidents, celebrities like Johnny Cash and global leaders.

As his personal media spokesperson, A. Larry Ross notes on Time Magazine, Graham spread the gospel around the world to nearly 215 million people in 185 countries and territories, plus countless millions more via satellite, television, radio, publishing and the Internet.

To Americans, however, he was more than a roving pastor. He was the country’s own clergyman who, in recent memory, “offered prayers at a service in the National Cathedral for victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and, despite his failing health, traveled to New Orleans in 2006 to preach to survivors of Hurricane Katrina.”

It’s no surprise then that Americans idolized him. In The Harris Poll’s 2014 survey, Graham was listed among the top 10 individuals in the world Americans admire enough to consider heroes.

In 1998, Graham gave a widely streamed TED talk on technology and faith. Watch the full clip below: